A few days ago I was on an airplane which was approximately the length of a school bus—and maybe even a little narrower. Personal space had no more meaning than what I imagine the inside of a sardine can would feel like. And, yep, you may have guessed this was coming: I was surrounded by a family of four—two of them being under the age of four. Their need to hop up and down, move constantly and change seats continually, parents included, was phenomenal. (And I was the one who had the triple shot of espresso in my non-fat cappuccino before boarding!)
Within the first 30 minutes at cruising altitude my cup got knocked over, my laptop was firmly gripped by the little boy’s fingers (pressing several keys at once while I was trying to write) in an effort to keep himself from falling onto my lap as he got trapped in his iPod cord! And the background noise of pages being ripped from the airline magazine during the last half of the trip was far better than the screaming, crying, slapping demands of the youngest child during the first half of the trip.
Had I mentioned that I was hoping to have a peaceful, reflective time of prayer and writing while on the plane in order to prepare for my ministry trip to Bethel University and Seminary in Minnesota? I hope you’re laughing. I had to!
I was actually grinning. And shaking my head a little. But not at the hyper-active family. I was shaking my head at me and laughing at me…because of the GOD TRUTH that I know is this: Life and life’s circumstances—and interactions with others—are just not all about me. And certainly not about my plans.
Be wise in the way that you act towards outsiders;
make the most of every opportunity.
Let your conversation be always full of grace,
seasoned with salt, so you may know how to answer everyone.
God is good…and God wants His goodness—His wisdom and grace—to flow freely and continually through us who are His children. Even when our plans are changed. Even when our peace is disturbed. The members of this precious, albeit hyper-active family, were still sadly “outsiders” to knowing Jesus as Savior (as evidenced by the yarmulkas and hair locks worn by father and son).
And so God called me first to laugh at myself and laugh at my plans (and get over myself!)…and then to offer smiles and kindness and patience and grace as I interacted and chatted with them on the flight—and in the very short time we had been given to share a portion of our lives.
May God use everything for His glory—to bring all people to His love and salvation. Because all of us, who now know Jesus as our Savior, were once outsiders too.
In love, peace and purposeful passion, Sylane