Sunday, January 8, 2012

Thoughts From The Waiting Line

I've grown to love my trans-atlantic journeys between America and my home in Europe. I remember that in the beginning they were painstakingly long, stressful, and generally exhausting, but over time I've learned my way around the various airports, figured out how to manage my time a little better, and picked up tips and tricks along the way that have made for smooth sailing from one continent to the other. The reality is that life on either end of my flight is so incredibly busy that 9 hours on a plane has truly begun to feel like a haven for rest and relaxation. The Lord blessed me with short legs, so I qualify as “travel size,” and confined to those tiny chairs I'm quite at my leisure as I watch back-to-back feature films that I either couldn't afford to watch in Europe (the going rate in Norway is $24 per flick) or didn't have time to watch in the US. The flight attendants become my favourite people as they bring me food and/or drinks every two hours (not unlike an infant...) and occasionally offer me a warm towel for reasons unbeknownst to me. Then I have the privilege of perusing the duty free shops on my way out, freshening up with million dollar make-up samples and spritzing myself with something that smells both expensive and pleasant. What more could you ask of your travel experience?

Something I've also grown to love is the “people watching” my cheap-flight-extensive-layovers provide. It's so interesting to observe the melting pot of cultures you see in the international transfer wing of an airport, to recognize the common threads that run through every corner of the world, and to speculate about the stories of passersby. Standing in line at the security check point tonight I recognized nearly a dozen different languages within earshot. This is a game I like to play with myself...seeing how many different nationalities and/or languages I can accurately distinguish between (it makes the lines go faster, at least in my mind). This night in particular it got me thinking about heaven, actually. It made me wonder at the promise that every tribe, tongue, and nation will be represented there. I had the revelation that in a very subtle, very bizarre way, I get to experience a little taste of heaven every time I get “stuck” in one of those long lines in these noisy, dirty airports. There are very few places you see the nations come together like that. It really got me excited for the Olympics this summer in the UK. That's another one of those “heavenly” meeting points, so to speak---a place where maybe not all, but at least a lot, of the the tribes, tongues, and nations come together for a united purpose. I'm so excited to see what God will do as we flood the place with literally thousands of YWAMers who are passionate to see God's kingdom come in the nations. 2012 holds so much promise! So buckle up, and enjoy the ride...

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