Goodness, how that song dates me! But it’s true. I’m headed off today, flying even as I type, headed for a family wedding in Phoenix. I’ve been in vacation mode since the start of the week, but it’s this trip that changes mere days off from work into a vacation in every sense of the word. There’s something about packing the sunscreen, the bathing suit, and mentally planning one’s wardrobe rather than a dinner menu by the days of the week that puts a smile on a face and a skip in a step. Who doesn’t love a few days away?
This morning we set out, having kissed the dogs and the duties goodbye, all but cheering as we headed up the drive. Determined to enjoy every moment of the trip, we marveled at springtime blossoms that lined the roadways, pointed at farmers busy in their fields, and discussed the chances of running into rain as we headed for darker skies ahead of us. Parking at the airport was no problem, and we had barely gotten out of the vehicle when a bus pulled up to transport us to the terminal. It was all systems go through security, to the gate, through the wait for the boarding call. And that’s when all forward progress stopped as we learned the airplane had suffered mechanical problems of some sort and was only just leaving distant Dallas for the people waiting to board in Indianapolis.
A change in plans. No matter; there just had to be a few changes made to the itinerary. A few phone calls later it was all systems go again. We’ll board a different flight in Dallas, meet the family at a different location in Phoenix, and still have a fantastic time on the journey.
Now we’re on the plane. I took a quick nap, reminding my husband to nudge me should I snore. When I woke up thirsty, it was just in time to see the refreshment cart rolling down the aisle. In short, there hasn’t been much to dampen my mood. Watching cotton-ball clouds float by outside, I note that emotionally I’m flying as high as the airplane I’m riding in.
My life follows pretty much the same course as my travel diary entries above. It’s a journey, as well, and some would say I’m pretty much in vacation mode all the time. I haven’t had to struggle with many of the things other people have to deal with, and while I’m grateful, I also feel a little guilty at times about my good fortune. Just yesterday my good mood wanted to express itself in a particularly joyous Facebook post, but I held back, noting that some of my social networking friends who might be reading the online news feed were at that moment struggling with life-threatening illnesses in a hospital, dealing with the threat of divorce, struggling to keep businesses afloat and children out of jail. Aside from personal problems there were ones of national interest as well filling the news feeds, a huge tornado having just touched down near Oklahoma City causing loss of life and the devastation of a large area. Maybe it wasn’t the moment to be so happy…or certainly not to talk about it.
But perhaps I am happy for such a moment as this. Sometimes people need to see the sun streaming through a break in the dark clouds surrounding them to give them a bit of relief from the darkness and instill some hope for better days ahead. Perhaps when we’re joyful it’s not just for our own benefit but to bless and encourage somebody who’s traveling through life on the same flight as we are but might be having a much more difficult time.
Our captain just announced that our flight is in a holding pattern, bad weather ahead preventing our landing at the present time. He assures us we have plenty of fuel to ride out the storm below. Some lives surrounding me are in that same place - circling without making much progress toward their destination. A smile on a face is not out of place when it fuels patience in travel companions to smoother skies and a safe arrival at the final destination.
“A merry heart does good like a medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.”
(Proverbs 17:22 MKJV)
(Proverbs 17:22 MKJV)