I hand my B37 boarding pass to the agent at the gate and hesitantly walk onto the already full airplane. Nearly every seat is taken. In the back are a few empty, dreaded middle seats and I quickly make a choice. Standing up, it seems like a n okay one, but as I settle in I am met with regret.
Almost instantly I am squished and touched uncomfortably with fourhours looming ahead of me. Ms. aisle seat has no other choice but to move partially into my seat. Mr. window seat tries to respect what little space I have left allowing me to shift my legs when needed.
Two-hundred-forty minutes ahead and an intense grumbling erupts in my heart. My face is brow furrowed and visibly scrunched... I close my eyes and try to push past my present frustration. A simple, single prayer escapes my cluttered thoughts… “God show me the blessings in this place. “
I try to force it… thank you God for air travel… thank you for the 40 inches of window and the clouds passing by… thank you for the free diet soda...
But no peace comes to me. I am trapped, anxiety ridden and clinging to only an ounce of sanity and self-control.
And then a glimpse of His purpose pushes its way to the forefront of my heart… my purpose in this.
My mind abruptly centers on Ms. aisle seat sleeping soundly next to me and though she is slightly on me I am over-whelmed with a sense of her discomfort. How she must feel. Her frustration. And her anxiety.
So, I pray for her.
And I soon forget all about me.
Burdened for her my face loosens as my heart softens and I breathe out peace.
My comfort level remains cramped, but my heart suddenly feels free. I am reminded of Paul, persecuted and in chains, yet content in all things… spreading the gospel… serving and loving others for His sake.
And me… what do I have to complain about?
"I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. "