Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Plane Departed - Without Me!

I was in Florida on Longaberger business near Orlando. After three days visiting consultants I was flying to Florida's panhandle to participate in a Navigator conference. (The Nav conference determined the timing of the Longaberger visit; every hat bowed to my Nav hat.) I was scheduled to be a greeter.

Now it seems silly. How could such a minor snafu lead to my strong emotional response? But it did.

The plane took off without me and distanced me from my desire - to be at the conference on time with a smile on my face and arms outstretched ready to dispense hugs.

I arrived at the small airport with time to spare that morning. I checked in, went through security, and was chatting with my Longaberger friends while waiting for the announcement to board in the quiet waiting room. There was one other party waiting that early morning. The plate glass windows behind me looked out to the tarmac.

Looking back, I should have been suspicious that something was not quite right. There was no music playing in the background, no white noise, and I never heard those familiar airport announcements.

I checked my watch. It was getting close to take-off. But there was no activity and no intercom reminders. Trustingly I waited.

Again, I nervously looked at my watch. I really should have been boarding by now. All is quiet, no movement of airport officials, still no announcements.

Turning to look at the tarmac, to my horror, I saw a plane (my plane) taxi-ing down the runway. It left without me, without an announcement to board, without the final announcement, nothing!

Calmly I walked over to the ground personnel, the same person who checked me in and manned security in that small airport. I complained, "I never heard the boarding announcement". She replied, "Oh, you wouldn't have; the intercom system is broken". "Why didn't you tell me when I checked in?" Perturbed  might be a mild descriptor at that moment.

I was going to an important conference.
I had responsibilities - greeting.
Others were counting on me.
My identity was at stake.

That last sentence was not a conscious thought that morning; but it was the fuel that ignited my other emotions.

Our enemy blew on the flame; my perception of this very frustrating circumstance was way off kilter.

I missed a plane.
I got on the next one, arriving a bit later than I wanted.
No big deal.

Except for the lie that controlled me, I am not even good enough to greet. In my mind, this was a blow to my Navigator status. God used this incident to expose to me my misplaced identity.

"But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,"
Ephesians 5:13

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