Sunday, April 13, 2008

On the Road Again

I know, I know, I haven't filled you in on the rest of Mount Hermon yet, but I'm on to the next trip already. Had the joy of speaking at a women's retreat--a group of delightful gals came down from the Roseburg, Oregon area so I could be their cool!--Friday and Saturday, then it was home, finish packing, jump into bed at almost midnight, and up again at 4 a.m. this morning. My flight left Medford at 6 am! Eek! Oh well, good thing I can sleep on planes.
I almost always make sure I have an aisle seat when I fly. If I have an asthma attack, I really don't care to climb over people to the aisle. But with going on this weekend, I forgot. Bleah. So guess what I had on the 5 hour flight from SanFran to Charlotte, North Carolina? Yup. A center seat. I contemplated getting all worked up about it, but for one thing, it was my own silly fault.

For another, I'm trying not to do that anymore. Get worked up and make people miserable because I don't get my way.

Giving up being a princess is SO hard.

So, I get on the plane. My first surprise: the seats are wider than I expected. COOL! I won't be pressing legs with a stranger after all. Well, hopefully not. With the bit of extra seat space I ask God if He would mind terribly letting the people on either side of me be skinny. Hey, one "fluffy" person in a row is plenty. Sure enough, a tiny woman who I figured was in college slid past me into the window seat. And a tall, thin guy took the aisle seat.

DOUBLE cool.

I settle back in my seat, glance at the woman on my right, and smile. She smiles back. A genuine smile, not one of those "oh, please, please, please don't try to talk to me" pained smiles. Of course. the airline has overbooked the flight, and people are frantic trying to get their luggage in the overhead bins, and the airline is offering two round trips per person if you'll please get OFF this plane so we have seats for everyone...

Well, you know what people are like nowdays when they fly. Generally NOT in good moods. And they were in rare form today. So much so that the pilot came down the aisle, scolding everyone, telling them that we were going to miss our "pushback" window and we'd have to sit there for 45 minute until another window opened up so "sit down and FASTEN YOUR BELTS!"

Shades of my dad hollering up the stairs at me and my teenage friends when we wouldn't quiet down during a sleepover.

But hey, it worked. People were suddenly in their seats, and we were on our way. I glanced at the woman in the window seat again, and we moved into conversation. And stayed there. Almost the entire trip. I found out she's a sales rep of sorts for a small vineyard in Sonoma County. That she travels EVERY WEEK. (Oh, my heart. Even in my prime I couldn't have done that.) And that she was a bright, funny, intelligent young woman of 28. (Man! Why couldn't I look that great at 28??) It was great! We talked about all kinds of things, and before I knew it we were descending into Charlotte. The flight I'd been dreading was over. And though we had a bumpy landing, I was relaxed and grateful.

That's how it usually works, huh? When you just relax, when you remember God's in control and getting in a snit doesn't help anyone, your mind and heart are open to the little serendipities, the little blessings, God has for you along the way. And you know what? I feel great tonight. Tired, yes. Ready to crash. (Hey, I normally only get up at 4 a.m. to go fishing!) But in my heart, my spirit, I feel rested.

Even refreshed.

And the best part of it all? No regrets to nudge me in the middle of the night and point out what
a brat I am. So I'm looking forward to a good, restful night's sleep.

Amazing how nice it is to have a clear conscience for a change. I'm gonna have to do this more often.

Blessings to you today.



Richard Mabry said...

Isn't it nice when God gives us little gifts like that? Thanks for sharing your story.

Karen B. said...

Yes, it really is!