"Wow!"<Sitting in seat 10C, I hear a voice, slightly raised, from the next row back.>
The plane was packed, and just beginning its take-off run. Looking around, this seemed like a crowd mostly made up of business travelers, though there were at least a few people making personal trips. Like the very nicely dressed lady in seat 11A.
"Yay!!" <The voice is up a notch or two, in both pitch and decibels.>
The plane was picking up speed, engines roaring. 11A was certainly not "roaring," but she was clearly enjoying the ride! Looking around at the business travelers, it also seemed pretty obvious that hers was the minority view.
"Woo-hoo!!!" <Pitch up; decibels, way UP!>
The plane was beginning to lift off, nose wheel just free of the ground. The biz travelers around me are showing either annoyance or boredom... or, somehow, both! Not me. I am smiling. 11A might be able to lift this whole plane with her sheer joy. This is something to witness!
"C-O-O-L!!!!" <A shout of glee; riotous clapping!>
Airborne. Ground receding at a spectacular rate. And 11A has now entered full-fledged delight! I seem to be the only one who finds this contagious, as the folks for a couple of rows in each direction are now fully and clearly pulling off the "simultaneously bored and annoyed" reaction.
Not me. My grin has grown: from a smile a couple of eruptions ago, to a full-faced grin, now mixed with chuckles. I am only sorry to say that my hands were full and my mind was slow. Otherwise, I would have joined 11A with applause, cheering and a high-five from 10C!
It was almost as good as traveling with a grandchild! One of the things I dearly love about being with little ones is the way we get to discover life all over again with them. They don't yet know what "ordinary" is. Instead, they take delight in the simplest things as they get to know a world filled with wonder.
The traveler in 11A was no child. Closer to 60 or even 70, I would estimate. All the same, I was thankful for the reminder. Thankful, in fact, for the revelation. 11A was right! As she cheered us into the sky, something genuinely amazing was happening. We were f-l-y-i-n-g!! How recently in human existence did this become possible? How many thousands of years did people spend watching the birds and wishing we could do this... and resigning themselves to the reality that we were stuck on the ground? Most human beings who have ever lived could only dream of having an experience as marvelous as ours that day.
Most of the people alive on our planet today are in the same situation.
To be able to fly through the air is both a wondrous and a privileged experience. It is easy to forget that. Especially as responsibilities, worries and challenges come flooding into our lives, it is easy to focus only on them, and to lose awareness of the wonders and privileges that make up our lives, day by day.
So, the sheer delight of 11A brightened my day and it got me to thinking. It is amazing that anything could be become routine or taken-for-granted, when it is as wondrous as...
flying... or driving... or tasting... or showering... (with hot water, no less!)... or arising and walking... or greeting my beloved... or seeing... or hearing the birds... or waking up... or sleeping... breathing....
The list of the amazing gifts I experienced just in the first few hours of that morning a few days ago could go on and on. And, I took it all for granted until 11A tore the cover off my everyday world with her unrestrained delight. Thank you for opening my eyes, 11A!
Whatever your challenges this day, may the Lord bring an 11A into your life, open your eyes and touch your heart with joy and thanksgiving!
Thanks so much for your support of the work that God keeps choosing to do through me. I continue to be amazed by the gracious patience and perseverance of the Lord, and am very grateful to all who work together with God to make this ministry possible, through your words of encouragement, your prayers and your gifts. Cathy and I are grateful to be able to give to the support of the whole work of International Ministries through the World Mission Offering, and the whole work of ABCNJ through the Friends of ABCNJ offering, and invite you to join us in these privileges, too!