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From the Flight Deck November 5, 2008

Posted by markgeil in Posts from the old CCM blog.
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The words I didn’t want to hear from the flight deck:

 

“Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Just receiving word of storms in the Atlanta area. We have been placed in a holding pattern. Looks like we have about 17 planes ahead of us for our gate. We’ll let you know when we know more.”

 

I had given myself plenty of time to be back for our first night of Awana at church. Hundreds of kids on the way, excitement to spare, and I needed to be there. When our flight got diverted to Knoxville, my cushion of time vanished. A flurry of phone calls all around me hastily reshuffled plans, some with the coarsest of language.

 

The nicely-dressed gentleman sitting next to me did not speak often, but it became apparent that he would miss his connection to Lima, Peru, the last flight out that day. He had no cell phone to inform his family, and refused my offers to borrow mine. Through it all, he was entirely tranquil. We discussed the Victor Hugo novel I was reading. I learned that he had been a university professor like me, and that he had worked at the World Bank. I believe he has had a fascinating life. He also had on both a belt and suspenders, which for some reason always makes me smile.

 

After a bit of silence, my companion declared, in a thick accent, the source of his calm. “It is good that I believe in God,” he said, half looking at me and half observing the refueling truck outside. “Because I believe in God, I am not concerned about all of this.”

 

Who knows what calamity we might have avoided because of our delay? Well, God does, I suppose.

 

“So haven’t I learned that my ways
Aren’t as high as Yours are,

And You alone keep the universe
From crumbling into dust

You are God and though we would
Not have understood You

There You were”

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