Last week, my husband Alan was required to take a business trip. His flight was booked, hotel booked and even though flying is not his favorite activity, he was ready for the adventure.
The flight on Sunday was uneventful. Arriving at the destination airport, finding a cab to the hotel (as there was no shuttle to the hotel) and meeting new people who were also attending the seminar were all part of the days activities.
The week continued with classes everyday, learning new business procedures, and at the end of each daily session, heading back to the hotel to rest and prepare for the next day. A typical business trip.
All was well and I couldn’t wait for him to arrive home on Thursday evening.
Until… Thursday arrived. Packing his belongings on Thursday morning, which include computer, CPAP machine, suitcase, and also a temporary heart monitor the doctor has asked him to wear for a certain period of time, Alan was ready to head for the airport.
He called frequently with updates. “I’m leaving for the airport.” “I’m at the airport, checking in and going through security.” “Now, I’m checked in and going to get a bite to eat while I wait for my flight.”
Great news. He was on the way home. Until…
Another call. Another text. “Flight delayed. Not sure what is going on. We are told it won’t be delayed long.”
More texts shortly afterwards. “Flight delayed. Plane isn’t here. Flight crew has timed out. Waiting for another crew.”
Then… “Airline reports computer glitch. Hundreds of flights cancelled. Airport is extremely hot. Thousands of people stranded. Not sure what will happen next. I’m going to try to rent a car.”
Next message was that no car reservations were being honored. So many people tried to rent cars that there were no cars available.
I turned on the t.v. to find a reporter telling about the “computer glitch” causing flights to be cancelled at the airport. Oh no!!
Many calls and texts back and forth between Alan and me. Finally, the only thing left to do was find a hotel room and spend the night and try to find a flight again the next day. There was no comfort in knowing he would be away from home another night, especially since he had developed a chest cold while traveling. What a mess!
A new flight was scheduled for the next day at 4:19pm. Upon arriving at the airport, Alan noticed the board with the flight schedule starting to change, just like the previous day. “Oh, no, here we go again.” More cancelled flights.
His flight was delayed but finally loaded with people and luggage and was able to head for Charleston SC. Alan was only 3 and 1/2 hours away from home, by car. Only 35 minutes away from home, by plane. So close and yet so far…
The last adventure was when the plane was able to land in Charleston, there was a terrible lightning storm. So, of course, passengers could not leave the plane. Pretzels and bottled water were handed out as everyone sat and waited for permission to disembark from the plane.
After almost 2 hours of sitting in the plane on the tarmac, passengers were allowed to leave the plane.
Alan’s luggage had gone ahead the previous day, even though no flight for him was available.
We kept asking each other this question. “Wonder what we are supposed to be learning from these events? How can we glorify God in all of this mess?”
One thing to remember is that whatever we are experiencing, there are ways to find God and show His love to others. In all the grouchiness of people at the airport and all the worries of when he would arrive home, Alan kept his cool and showed God’s love in all his words and actions.
I am proud of my husband. These were a few very trying, hard days. He wanted to be home instead of at the airport and I wanted him to be home.
This morning, the news is reporting there is still a “computer glitch” at the airport and many people continue to be stranded. We pray their flights resume soon and they arrive safely at their destination.
So close and yet so far… Does that describe anyone you know? So close to being near to God, yet so far away…. How can we show others the way to God?
Happy Summer and safe travels for everyone,