I arrived in Las Vegas just after noon. Our flight from Kansas City had been delayed by about 20 minutes because the FAA would not let the baggage handlers load the bags onto the plane when lightning was striking in the area... ...
Ok, let me see if I have this right...
No luggage on the plane because it is UNSAFE for the baggage people to be out in the lightning.
It is OK for a large lightning rod, filled with people to taxi and then lift off the ground AND fly INTO the rain and lightning filled clouds... ... ... ... .
Is it any wonder then that my knuckles were white from gripping the arms of the seat, prayers were being said through clenched, panic stricken teeth and last will and testaments were being scribed on the cocktail napkins with the pretty airline logo?
By the way I found that my will can FIT on the napkin with room to spare!
The flight itself was beautiful. High above the white puffy clouds was a blue sky that seemed to invite us to sit back and relax, to give in to our desire for sleep. For me that meant to put on some Sound Isolating headphones, plug in my MP3 player and listen to episodes of Frasier
I watched, listened and dozed my way through the 3 hour flight. It was smooth sailing... ..
Until we prepared to land.
Ladies and Gentleman, our pilot started I have turned on the seatbelt sign and am asking everyone to return to their seats for our decent into Las Vegas... It is going to be a bit bumpy
Someday I want to read the definition of A BIT bumpy
As we hit the first pocket of Turbulence I longed for the comfort of my seat on the plane. I, however, was caught in no mans land between the restroom and my seat.
The drop was enough to make my knees buckle as myself and the approaching flight attendant did a sort of mid flight ballet as we dipped and swayed, plied and pirouetted past each other.
Before I reached my seat near the front of the plane, I had danced, almost landed in the lap of a rather horrified looking senior citizen and almost lost the peanuts and cheese nips that served as an in flight snack and were now doing a dance of their own inside my rolling stomach.
Arriving at my row I took my assigned seat in the middle. I buckled my seatbelt and praised God.
The remainder of our flight would see us shake rattle and roll our way towards the airport.
Watching the ground approaching faster and faster, I became aware that the wind was strong enough to attempt to turn our plane sideways, and so back and forth the tail and nose of the plane swayed and once again my peanuts and cheese nips attempted to seek freedom!
Finally with a sigh of relief, LOTS of Praise to God and a newly written will on a cocktail napkin. The wheels touched the tarmac, and we rolled to a smooth stop.
Normally when the wheels touch ground the sound of seatbelts unbuckling can be heard throughout the plane. On this day, however, they remained buckled until the plane came to a complete stop and we could pry our fingers from the arm rest.
Grabbing my carry on and making my way towards the front I saw the pilot standing there greeting passengers as they went past.
Pilots are there to instill confidence, they stand there stoically smiling and saying thanks for flying with us.
In this case I think I detected a tremble in his hands and a quiver in the smile.
Most of the time in my life I want to be the driver, I want to be the one in control of my situations and steer and maneuver where I want. Even in my relationship with God. I try to hard to be in control. I have my hands on the wheel and my foot, firmly planted on the gas peddle.
God has to chuckle at my feeble attempt to steer. Sometimes I can almost see him there. My life more like the student driver car... you know the one. The one with TWO steering wheels and TWO sets of peddles.
I am trying hard to steer, wanting to go MY way at MY speed. Sometimes he lets me... .until I need or call out for help and then He gently corrects my course and slows me to a safe speed. Other times he has to stomp on the brakes or pull the wheel hard one way or the other to help me avoid an accident.
There will always be turbulence in life. I may be a good co-pilot or maybe just an ok passenger but I am NOT a qualified pilot of life.
I think starting today I am going to let God pilot my life... ..
Besides, I need both hands to eat my Double Stuff Oreos... .