This year, I had the pleasure of visiting my home and family in Northern California for the holidays. I had a great time with my family but inevitably the time came for me to leave for Las Vegas again. And what came to face me in my journey home? Northern California’s winter weather. I had thought that I had successfully maneuvered the worst of it; unfortunately my plans fell short of their goal. My first flight was cancelled due to the weather at the arriving airport, so I drove to the next airport for the next best available flight—over a hundred miles away.
This is not an attempt to vent or rage in frustration—in fact, I like to think I behaved with a fair amount of grace during the whole matter—but it’s simply a very recent moment of my life that reminded me of one important thing: things don’t always go as planned, especially when things happen which are beyond our control. What is important is how we behave in those times. I’m reminded of Paul’s letter to the Philippians, "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say rejoice!” (Philippians 4:8). If anyone had an excuse to complain in life, it’d be Paul, but he faces his challenges head on with joy in the Lord. I can’t help but think that part of the reason Paul was able to stay so joyful despite everything that happened was because he was thinking long term.
I’d like to think that that’s somewhat how I kept a calm demeanor of the whole issue of my flight debacle. I knew that I had family and friends that would help me in returning to Vegas, I knew that I would eventually get back and do school, and most of all I knew that my trip had been worth it. Any hiccups from this trip become easily eclipsed by all of the positives surrounding it. Furthermore, these troubles become even more insignificant in the perspective of eternity, comically so. Even if I were to get trapped in an airport for the rest of my life, in the span of history and the boundless future I have in heaven with God and Jesus, that is such a small amount of time.
To be completely honest, my troubles were not over at the airport. In fact, as I type these words, I wait for my one O’clock in the morning flight, that will connect me to my seven O’clock transfer, so that I can get to my nine O’clock class. But I’m more interested in looking forward to the future than wallowing in this moment. To seeing what I can do with my time, like writing this devotional, instead of fretting over how much I’ve lost. It’s not too unlike life. A verse that I find both comforting and very appropriate right now is: “For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; weeping my endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning,” (Psalm 31:4).