Misery on an airplane…



Psalm 116:8 For you have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. 9 I walk before the LORD in the land of the living. 10 I kept my faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”; 11 I said in my consternation, “Everyone is a liar.” 12 What shall I return to the LORD for all his bounty to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, 14 I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

So I was out of town for a few days and returned home this morning, catching an early flight back to Dallas. When I made the reservation I paid a little extra for an aisle seat in an exit row, which is generally more comfortable than a typical coach seat. More legroom. Easy to get up and stretch sitting on the aisle. We boarded on schedule for an on-time departure. So far, so good. But as I walked up to my seat, I saw the person assigned to sit in the middle seat next to me.

The guy was ENORMOUS!

Seriously, he was as large as an NFL lineman. I estimated his size to be roughly 6’5″ and 300+ pounds. Not fat, just large. VERY LARGE. His massive left arm and shoulders took up a big chunk of my seat space. (Picture above is roughly the man’s size, but shows a first class seat, not coach like we were this morning). When I sat down I practically had to lean over the armrest on my left and stick out into the aisle. I thought to myself, “I paid extra to sit here”. I was not a happy camper. But what to do? Guy was nice enough but he can’t shrink on demand.

The entire first hour of the roughly 2 1/2 hour flight I tried in vain to get comfortable. To his credit the guy next to me is well aware of how big he is. He leaned forward for a while to let me sit back in my seat. After a while I did the same for him. We took turns and tried to make the best of a bad situation.

As I was on the flight I read this passage from Psalm 116. The writer is giving thanks to God for sparing his life from serious illness. There is deep gratitude from start to finish. It got me thinking about my situation. As I began to pray about it a funny thing happened. I fell asleep. And when I woke up we were touching down. How in the world? I really don’t know. But I give glory to God for taking my mind and spirit out of that plane and into his grace.

Thank you Lord for coming when we call to you. Amen.

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