My trip to Detroit started poorly. Of course, when your alarm goes off at 4:00 am on a Monday, after hosting a BBQ on Sunday, a poor start is almost guaranteed. I woke to the alarm with my usual enthusiasm and slowly moved downstairs, holding onto both handrails as I crept in the darkness towards the coffee pot. The creation of a timer on a coffee pot is a most beautiful invention, expediting my first gulp. The flight did not leave until 6:00 am so I should of had plenty of time to shower, complete packing, verify the blog posted correctly, and drive to the airport arriving early enough to locate parking amidst the construction so I could check in 30 minutes prior to departure. Right – all that should have been no problem. I checked in at 5:35 am, five minutes later than required. I was told, by a stern and completely unpleasant lady that I was too late and the flight was closed – I needed to book another flight. The funny thing was that she went through the process of re-ticketing me, printing documents, and I made it through security with my bag and computer before the flight left. I stood at the gate, bag in hand, and watch the plane leave that I was supposedly too late to get on! However, the delay was only two hours, and I did not have any business that day, so I did not get too upset.
The new route was Sacramento to Washington DC then to Detroit, not a straight line in anyone’s math class. On the first leg they put me in a center seat on row eight. I had paid for a Business Class seat, but since I missed the first flight I had to take what was offered. Just before takeoff a flight attendant offered me the only seat in first class that was still available. A moment later, I was seated in first class, comfort bound for DC. The lady next to me noticed the book I was reading, called The Story, a chronological account of the Bible written like a novel. She asked me about the book and we talked for twenty minutes about God, the Bible and the lack of both in today’s world. I told her about my book, Warriors, and she wrote down my name promising to download it on her Ipad. Minutes before landing in DC she leaned over towards me and said, “Since you are a man of faith, would you do me a favor and pray for my mom. She is in hospice care and only has a few days left. That’s why I am going to DC.” Those six words, you are a man of faith, struck me like a tidal wave. It is wonderful complement when I am called a good “Husband or Father.” Those are the roles in my life where I need to excel; Father and Husband are the building blocks of my personal success. For this five-hour-friend to call me a man of faith was one of the most unanticipated and finest compliments I have ever been given.
The lady in 8B gave me a gift of a lifetime; not by revealing what I am in her eyes, but by giving me something higher to aim at. I do not consider myself a man of faith yet, but I now know it is who I want to be. My personal goals have usually been about my weight, income, savings, or vacation destinations. Those are not uncommon goals or bad in any way. However, those goals are too confining, they don’t allow for stretch, or growth beyond where my mind has been. My goal needs to be where my mind and heart have never been. Now my goal is to be known as a man of faith. I get excited just writing the words.
With no doubt in my mind I believe God put me in that seat, next to the nice lady in 8B to tell where He wanted me to go on my spiritual journey. He manipulated my morning to put me in a place to learn. He has raised my bar and honored me at the same time.
Sometimes, being late for a plane is a good thing. Sometimes, it can change your perspective on life altogether.
Thanks for reading.