Thursday, July 23, 2009

Choosing Prayer over Panic

Life has been a little busy lately - despite my efforts to slow down. But we've begun the end-of-summer-finale, and will soon be getting back to the school year schedule.

We'd made the trip several times before - every summer since my kids were born, for sure! Nashville to Providence - Southwest airlines. I was tired for sure - tying up the loose ends had left me only four hours of sleep before the alarm would go off to get us on our way. UNfortunately, there were also four interruptions during that time.

But as I sat on the plane, preparing to take off, I thought of all I had to be grateful for. First and foremost for my friend who had willingly driven us to the airport to make a 6:30 flight. But, I also recalled previous trips. The years when I was traveling with two infants, or toddlers and all the equipment they require for travel: stroller, car seats, diaper bag. "Difficult" was an understatement. A challenge that I of course accepted, and one that always reminded me that there are good people out there in the world, willing to help - especially if carrying a car seat down the gangplank will allow them to pre-board.

But, I digress. There I sit, half-dozing, thinking how grateful I am that the kids can walk and can carry their own back packs, only have boosters and can potty independently. A breeze in comparison to previous years.

The plane had been unusually quiet for a Southwest flight - no humorous adaptations to the safety regulations, just straight forward service. Finally, I could feel the pressure in my ears as we began our descent. The captain came over the loud speaker ".... as we make our descent into Philadelphia...."

My brain hung on one word: Philadelphia. I knew on our return flight stopped in Phili, but was sure heading out was a direct flight. I tried to remember the itinerary - what it said. All I remembered was it lay on my printer still. I knew we only had one boarding pass, so we weren't changing planes. I was PRETTY sure I'd picked the right city off of the monitor to find our gate. I was PRETTY sure they wouldn't let us on the wrong plane after scanning our boarding passes. Still I tried to wrack my brain for at least one bit of evidence that we were not going to be stranded in Phildelphia.

To my mind returned the memory of the year we had flown into Manchester, NH, and up until 3 days before our arrival, our rental car was reserved in Rhode Island (Thank you God for fixing THAT one for me).

But as I sat there, wondering.... HOPING that this flight was going to continue to Providence... I realized I had two options: I could worry, or I could pray. I chose the latter. "God, please let me have not messed up our reservations!" "Please calm my heart about this..." "If we ARE stuck in Phili, help me to trust You and not totally freak out", "Oh, and God, if you see some of the flight crew, send them my way, so I can ask...."

Not long later, our wheels touched down, and we taxied to the gate. I sighed relief when they asked for the "through passengers to remain seated", and I hear the word Providence.

YES! Oh Yes! Thank You, God....

... and thank You for my wonderful travel companions!!

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