Thursday, February 16, 2006

Back in November, Deanna wrote about her love for flying. While this topic causes no trouble in our marriage, it is clearly not something we agree on. I can "get used" to flying. I don't even mind flying, okay... I mind it a little bit. What I do not enjoy, is the madness that accelerates at the conclusion of each flight.

When the flight is over, a free for all ensues. A plane full of claustrophobic people all intent in being the first one out the door, rise and... go nowhere! Bags are drug from beneath the seat and noggins get knocked as overstuffed overhead compartments burst open with shifted pull-behind suitcases. When did we get so unruly? There should be rules about not getting up until the flight attendant comes and releases your row... you know, like in weddings.

Yeah, I can't wait to fly again!

Last weekend, when we were heading home from Tulsa, our plane arrived in Chicago to snow. We could not get to our gate because another plane was there was waiting in line to be de-iced. So we sat for between a half hour and an hour waiting. We missed our connecting flight (which was to bring us to Indy).

After the aformentioned mayhem dance was complete, I grabbed my coat and bag, oh and my wife, and headed for the nearest service counter. I patiently waited my turn to dislodge my pent up... joy. Actually, I was very nice. While standing there I remembered what a good friend of mine teaches... "our disappointment is God's Divine appointment." So I began to watch for my opportunity. The attendant rebooked us on the next flight and we proceeded to our gate.

Upon arrival, I realized my coat was gone. I quickly retraced my steps. Staff even returned to the plane and looked for it. It was gone.

I returned to our gate. It was too crowded, so we found a nearby place to sit. While heading there, I saw another man wearing the same coat I had just lost... only he was a size larger, and so was his coat. After a few minutes passed, I noticed he had taken a seat near us. I stared at his coat trying to decide whether or not to go "make sure" it was a size bigger.

Later, while we waited, I saw him pass by at least two more times. I wanted my coat back, and I thought about not asking nicely.

Finally, our plane was boarding. I went to my seat (We were separated for this last flight due to a crowded plane, and the whole rebooking thing). Well I thought I went to my seat. I realized I had gone back a row too far. When I collected my bag and moved up, I found that the guy I was sitting beside was the same guy I had been seeing with "my coat."

As I put my ipod headphones in, I thought, this has to be my "Divine Appointment!" I started thinking about what I would say to him. The doorhatch closes, and I am instructed to turn off my "portable electronic device."

Then the captain comes on and says "we are in line to be de-iced, and then we will be on our way." We wait.

Soon, we see what looks like orange kool-aid running down the windows. Yeah, were going to leave soon. Nope. The captain again, "folks, as you can see it is snowing heavily, and by the time we get to the runway, there is a good chance we would need to be de-iced again, so we are going to wait this snow, out."

Oh yippee. Did I tell you how much I love flying? Did I tell you I struggle with claustrophobia? We sat, and sat, and waited and waited.

I started making comments to my "coat buddy." He responded in kind.

It was now time for my brother to pick us up in Indy, and there we sat in Chicago. I figure that we had just about spent as much time in the plane on the ground as we had in the air flying... from Tulsa. I sat there hoping my wife had disregarded the rules and called my brother (she has the cell phone).

An hour or more after sitting in my seat to go home, we finally started to move. That was something to Praise the Lord for, so I did!

I started up a conversation with my "coat boy." He talked quite a bit when asked questions. After a time, I started to share with him. He was completely unresponsive. I prayed for him, and continued with the conversation.

It turns out that this Divine Encounter did not result in a salvation, but seeds were planted, and that is okay. "I was obedient," I said to myself. I just think I could have done more.

Yes the situation had me on edge. Yes I spent time in diligent prayer asking God to help me not to "freak out" in the enclosed plane. Yes, God was faithful. He gave me words to share, and a way to do it.

You know, I never brought up the coat. I decided that if it was mine, he needed it worse than I did, and he could have it. I have other coats.

We finally landed in Indy. My lovely wife had broken the aviation rules, and called my brother. He did not have to stand around and wait. I can't wait to fly again.

I won't have to. I'm leaving in about three hours for Norfolk, Virginia. There is a conference on missions for the North African country we'll be in this summer. I am meeting with the missionaries we will serve with. Then I get to spend time with my sister and her family (yes, she is the mother of Joshua- keeper of the sword).

Deanna will remain behind this time, and will update you tomorrow. I'll return on Saturday evening.

Have a blessed day!

brent (dad)


At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the laughter this morning Brent!! I throughly enjoyed your story, and I am glad you let him have your coat!! you, once again, were faithful!!

Still praying in Kentucky!

At 9:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brent- Thank your for reminding us to be obedient to our Lord in the small are such a blessing to our internet family. I hope that you have a safe trip this weekend.

At 9:46 AM, Blogger natenamy said...

Brent-- Whenever I fly from now on (pretty frequently I must add) I will think of you and say a prayer that wherever you are... in a plane or not, that you will be "freaking out" for Him. Have a safe trip and we promise to take care of Deanna while you are away... especially on Saturday! :D
We love you loads and loads.
Amy (and Nate too)

At 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That really brought a smile to my face today when everything around me has be gray and gloomy, I'll be praying for you and your flight may God provide a divine appointment for you. Take care

At 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the story and the reminder to be obedient! On our trip to Peru, BJ was my seat partner every flight and bus ride (except when we changed it up so it wouldn't be boy-girl so we could sleep) because his last name was next alphabetically to mine. He's my favorite "seat-mate" as we called it.
Just wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you guys and think about you all the time. I'll be praying for you dad as you make this next journey and for all the ones you have in the future. Be safe!
Love love love
Mary in Houston

At 6:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so is that an official announcment? Will I be serving with y'all in North Africa? If so, I am looking forward to serving the Father side by side with each of you.Praying continually.

April C.

At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the much needed laugh!! It has beena while since I have left a message, but your family is always in my prayers...
Love in Christ, Cathy


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