5279 feet and counting

30 Nov

I am writing this blog from the sky. Certainly I am not the first to do it, though I may be the first fat guy to do it from the next to last row on a laptop that is too big to fit on the nicely sized table in front of me. As I sit in my seat, I begin to notice that most people feel that flying is the largest occassion for complaint in our culture today. But as I just read a blog by Pastor Curt, I realize that there are so many things to be thankful for, and this flight is really no exception.

I guess the flying experience really starts as you make your way on to the internet to purchase tickets. As exciting as this experience is, it really is disheartening to go to a page, click on a $49 flight and realize that you will pay more in fees than the cost of the initial flight. Then there is the tragic layover. In order to get a flight to leave at the time that fits your schedule, you need to arrive extra late because that flight will be making three stops along the way, yet it is $30 cheaper (of course with the extra stop fees, it may not turn out that way), so you commit to the extra time in the sky and just do it.

Then it comes time to arrange a ride to the airport, that if you don’t make arrangements for, you need to pay one child per day that you keep your car at the airport. So, then you get there in time to spend more time in the airport than you actually will in the air, just to make sure you get through the security checks where they will attempt to ruin your computer, scan your belt and shoes, and then pat you down as if you were a gangster from the movies.

When you finally get to the gate, you realize that fast food lines are incredibly proficient and quick compared to the plane boarding. Of course, once we are there, we refuse to wait anywhere but standing in that little portable hallway that takes you from the airport to the plane. So we stand there until the line incrementally moves as everyone is carrying a bag that is just small enough to fit into the overhead bin if enough grease is applied (of course this is to avoid the bag fees that the airlines started charging), only to be prod into a seat that is the perfect size for my seven year old son, which we are not allowed to recline, for some reason, until we reach a critical ear-popping point.

I have heard all of these complaints and more in the last hour or so, and, which is more, I seem to be surrounded by people who clearly don’t like the predicament, don’t want to work there, or just think a frown is the best way to win friends and influence people. And yet, I am excited that I get to go meet friends that I probably wouldn’t even know if not for this invention. I get to go do a Bible Quiz, which is helping young people be motivated to learn God’s word. I get to get back in time to see my family and go to church this weekend. I get to pass out tracts and go through the gospel with these otherwise miserable people who ask how I am remotely chipper, and I get to have contact with the world through this Airline enabled WiFi.

I think we are truly a blessed people. We get to do incredible things that generations before us could only dream about. I get to go from Florida to Wisconsin to help run a Bible Quiz which features a team from Colorado that teams in Georgia and Tennessee will watch on the internet with a tremendous interest. I got to tell my daughter (through typing) that I loved her as she was going to sleep, despite the fact that I am in transit. These are amazing things. And not to mention that as soon as I land, I’ll be able to hear voices on the other end of my cell phone of people I love and care for and I don’t even need to pay extra to make it happen!

I love that I live in this society, but I am awestruck at how much we complain. We don’t want to put up with the slightest suffering, even if we are taking that suffering in order to make our lives better! People complain about a three minute body search, despite knowing that these searches, however annoying, painful, or misguided, have made air travel safer. Despite knowing that air travel is not a right but a privilege. A privilege that saves hours and dayparts over driving, which in turn saves days and weeks over walking. You don’t have to like the specifics of the search more than anyone else, but you just need perspective.

We also live in a country where it is our right to object to those things we dislike and work to change them. That puts us in the greatest 1% of opportunity in history. Yes, there is so much to be thankful for, and even when it is something that seems like a perfect complaint opportunity, I submit that we could still be thankful, even if we are perilously hopping around at just under a mile high!

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One Response to “5279 feet and counting”

  1. Jenni December 30, 2011 at 4:55 am #

    You had me as you were off to a roaring finish… until your gentle chastisement over the frustration over three minute body searches. I don't really want to be convicted about being disgruntled about that. 🙂 I am shocked you don't have more comments, here, though, because this blog is really, really good.

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