I hope you’ve had a great week. Last week on the blog I bemoaned a stressful 10-hour drive home from Florida. I even said next time I’d be flying. Well, next time has already come and gone, but it wasn’t exactly a superior experience.
I have a friend from Chattanooga who is moving to Wyoming next month. I thought it would be nice to spend a couple days at the beach with her before she heads west. We had a lovely time. The weather was fantastic, and the food was yummy. We read, exercised and relaxed. The flights home were uneventful and on-time.
However, getting there involved some bumps. I swung by her house at 11:15a on Sunday. We sailed through security and had no issues on the flight to Atlanta. But the delays began before we ever exited the jetway. Our flight to Palm Beach was delayed for two hours. Oh well, we thought. Now we have time for a leisurely meal at P.F. Changs. After lunch, we sat at the gate, naively optimistic that our troubles were behind us. But weather in Florida was severe, and there were more delays and then our flight was cancelled. I was automatically re-booked on the 10:14p flight, but my sweet friend was re-booked for the next day. Discouraged, we debated just throwing in the towel and taking the shuttle back to Chattanooga, but ultimately we got her a confirmed seat on my flight. Another sit down meal in the airport and a few more hours at the gate and we were ready. Then the 10:14p flight was delayed. Exhausted passengers were laying on the airport floor just like the good old days. After lots of updates from the gate agent, and a stark warning from the pilot that our trip would be rough, we landed in Palm Beach at 2:30a. Do you know what’s hard to get at 2:30a? A ride. No Ubers. No Lyfts. No taxis. No rental cars. We stood on the curb for 45 minutes before we finally landed an Uber. I wanted to hug our driver like you would a solider returning from war: “Thank you for your service!”
Do you believe in karma? I mean it is kind of amusing that I’d complain about my ten-hour car trip, choose to fly, and then have that same trip take more than 17 hours door-to-door. It does have a ring of poetic justice, doesn’t it? But thankfully my worldview is grace-based. I would hate to think that I reside in a universe where I’ll get mine. Because I am under no delusion that I deserve any good thing. I am instead reminded daily that I am loved beyond measure and I constantly see evidence of being rescued and redeemed despite my inherent unworthiness. The bumps in the road, even deep sorrows, can serve as reminders to give thanks. I have never been so grateful for an Uber driver, but there were lots of other reasons to be grateful.
On the beach I read these words from Deuteronomy 18:12: “Rejoice before the Lord in everything you do.” Not some things. Not some of the time. Not when things go as planned. Not when life is marked by smooth sailing. We are called to rejoice in everything. Deuteronomy is not my typical beach read, but I’ve been falling way behind on my Bible reading plan. So you can call it karma that I read those precise words on the beach after that trip, but I call it grace upon grace.
Hope you have a fabulous weekend rejoicing in everything before the Lord.