Most people can recall at least one or two bad travel experiences. Delayed flights, lost luggage, etc. I, on the other hand, would have a hard time narrowing down my bad travel experiences to just a handful of examples. To give you just a glimpse of what traveling is like for me, I have been stuck in a city I had no intention of staying overnight in 5 times in the last year. Just this past week, I had my luggage not make it to my final destination for the 4th time in my life. Anyone that knows me, accepts the fact I have some of the worst travel luck around. In fact, I have started praying for the passengers that are traveling with me at the start of flights I am on. I pray that we arrive 'somewhere' safely and everyone has patience for whatever obstacle we are getting ready to experience. My many travel issues have taught me several lessons I hope others can vicariously learn rather than have to experience on their own. Here's my top 12 Unlucky Travel Lessons:
And although all of these lessons have been important, these particular lesson haven't been nearly as important as the more valuable "life" lessons God has taught me through my many unfortunate travel experiences.
The first lesson is one of control or lack thereof. Despite a Plan A, B, C, D or Z...God is in control and things will happen that you don't plan. In fact, things will happen that you didn't think were possible. How you react to the change in plans reflects who you are as a person. I have seen a grown man in tears, a woman throw a suitcase and people so angry on the flight that the Captain was waiting for them after they got off the plane. Having a calm manner and just taking bad experiences one moment at a time is the best way to get through it. And prayer. Lots of prayer.
I have also learned patience. I have learned to relinquish "my timing" to "His timing". There will be delays. There will be disappointments. You have to keep perspective and realize His timing is absolute. We don't want things according to our timing because frankly we would miss out. When I get delayed or my flight gets stuck somewhere, I try to think of all the bad things that might have happened if the timing were different -- the "what ifs" that didn't happen. I have learned to be patient and just trust His timing.
And finally, I have just recently learned perseverance. When the airline "misplaces" your luggage at a very inopportune time, you have to use your resources and do your best to pull something together in a short period of time. (Ever notice how luggage never seems to get lost on your return trip? It's always misplaced on the way "to" wherever you are going!) When you have a goal or something you want to accomplish and life gets tough, you have to push through it. Don't let the discouragement or a bump in the road, let you lose sight of the goal.
James 1:2-4, 12
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”
Delayed flights, missed connections and lost luggage,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.