My husband, Cab, has to travel a good bit for his job. It can get a bit hairy trying to schedule travel plans around my crazy hospital schedule and the busyness of three children. What always seems to make me most crazy are the travel delays.
Ulgh! I hate having my perfectly planned schedule interrupted by airlines. Don’t they understand that their passengers have obligations that most often do not work out when they delay a flight? Cab texted me when he landed in Arkansas for his job last night. I was thankful he was there and safe. Then, an hour later he messaged me that he was still on the plane. They were sitting looking at the gate where they would unload, but the airplane couldn’t be moved into position due to a lightening threat. Another 45 minutes passed before he was able to leave the airplane. Fortunately for him, it simply delayed him having dinner. But, I couldn’t help but think about others on the plane. What about the people with connecting flights out? What about those with an important meeting that evening? What about the ones that had been away from their loved ones, only to arrive home and be delayed that much longer from the embrace of their families?
Ecclesiates 3:1 says “ To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” Maybe it is a stretch, but is there a reason he was delayed last night? Maybe Cab avoided an accident he might have had? God has perfect timing in everything, but it can be rather challenging to think about it like this when faced with wanting off that plane.
We recently traveled via airline to visit family. And, by we, I mean myself, my husband, and two of our three children. My oldest was already in Texas having some quality time with grandparents. We were on our way to go for a visit and pick her up to bring her home. It was a Friday afternoon, and we left our North Georgia mountains for the Atlanta airport. We allowed plenty of time for traffic. If you’ve ever been to Atlanta, you know exactly what I mean. Atlanta is just a big giant cluster of traffic! But, unlike ever before, we had the most perfect trip straight to the airport. I’m telling you, it was strange...I don’t think Cab had to tap the breaks one time. We got parked and unloaded and headed in to tackle the security lines. Again, normally a cluster. I’ve waited close to 2 hours before in Atlanta airport security. I kid you not, we made it through the line and were to our gate in 10 minutes. Miracle doesn’t even describe it. So, Cab settled in, opened his laptop to get some work done, and the girls and I went exploring. We rode the train to get Starbucks, did a little shopping, and just had fun killing time inside the airport.
Then, the texts starting coming through. Delay. Delayed again. Delayed AGAIN. What? How could everything have been a picture of perfection up until that moment and now we had multiple hour delays? We decided to go take the girls to dinner at P.F.Changs and make it a special night, since we had several hours to pass. In the middle of dinner we received the notification: CANCELLED. I remember asking, “What does that even mean? Can they just completely cancel our flight? How will we get there? When is the next flight?" So many emotions came over me as I tried to wrap my head around what the next few hours held. We finished dinner, headed to the service counter, and were told our fate. We had been placed on another flight for 10:30 the next morning. The airline wasn’t going to compensate anything for an overnight stay or our parking or anything. I took to Facebook to complain about how overly annoying and incompetent the airline was. I probably should have done a heart check before I ranted on there...whoops!
Ultimately, we left the airport, found a hotel nearby, and made the best of it! We had so much fun that night snuggled up in our room. The next morning was much more typical of Atlanta airport security, and I couldn’t help but being thankful that it was a long line and super frustrating to do with two small kiddos. Ha! Funny how a little perspective changes what we are thankful for. I just knew we were headed for clear skies with our flight to Texas.
Do you ever have something stop you in your tracks like that? Does God ever cancel plans you had perfectly arranged? Everything is going so smoothly in life, and then BOOM- cancelled. This has happened to me countless times. In those times where it is just an annoyance (like our travel plans) it is pretty easy to overcome. But, in those times where cancelled is something so much bigger like a breakup, miscarriage, loss of a job, loss of a loved one, not making the team, etc. Those are the times we need to really rely on God to help us see through the fog and understand what His plans are. If you are in a season where you feel overwhelmed by cancellations or delays, I encourage you to be still. Do a heart check. Is God working on something in you? He is the God of the Universe and His ways are not our ways, but ultimately we need to trust Him when our plans are cancelled. At least, that’s the way I see it.