Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. God will get around to it. Seriously, chill out. – Psalm 27:14 (21st Century Gen X paraphrase edition)
It’s said that the trip to Hell includes a layover in Atlanta. I’m not sure what the Austin equivalent is, but I’m pretty sureI l lived it this week. I won’t bore you with details about what actually happened, but here’s the gist: in what wound up being a 35-hour round trip, I spent 4 hours in the air and 12 hours in two airports.
Getting out of Denver was bad enough. My flight left four hours late and the airline shuffled us between three different gates. The way back had the hallmarks of being even worse – mainly because I had a connecting flight through Houston and even on schedule, it wasn’t due in Denver until 10:40 p.m. When they pushed back the departure time, it looked like I wouldn’t get home until midnight.
Figuring I had nothing to lose at that point, I threw myself on the mercy of an airline rep who secured for me – at no extra charge – the last seat on a non-stop commuter flight to Denver leaving an hour later than my original flight…and arriving home 90 minutes earlier.
The whole thing got me to thinking about the Israelites, delayed outcomes, and unexpected blessings. My airport experience was simply the Exodus in small. You know, assuming the Israelites had been trying to get to Canaan via United Airlines.
It must have seemed like they’d never get to the Promised Land. I mean, it was one damn thing after another. Hunger and thirst and the wrath of God showing up as snakes and plague and I can’t remember what else. These were Bronze Age equivalents of what airlines refer to as “mechanical difficulties” and “operational delays.”
But there was also water in the deserts of Denver International and Bergstrom. It was no honey from the rock, of course, but a nice Dewar’s on the rocks isn’t a bad facsimile. There were quail and manna that looked and tasted just like a hamburger and fries. There were other people in the same boat and the camaraderie that comes from tribulation. (Okay, okay, that’s a stretch. Mostly it was a lot of annoyed travelers standing around bitching. But that resembles some of the moments of the Exodus, too.) And there was always the promise of God’s deliverance, which for me came in the form of a genuinely pleasant airline agent who got me home well before bedtime.
And everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved; for on Mount Zion (and in Denver) and in Jerusalem (and in Austin) there will be deliverance (from spending eternity in the airport), as the LORD has said, even among the survivors (of a GoJet puddle jumper) whom the LORD calls. – Joel 2:32 (21st Century Get X Paraphrase Edition)
© Marian the Seminarian, 2012