We are all on a journey. Well, we are all supposed to be on a journey. Some of us are taking an extended timeout from our journey and sitting back, resting on our laurels. Maybe we are tired, or think we are through with our journey. Matthew and I once had a friend, who in his fifties, was still a mover and a shaker. When asked when he rested, he told me, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” This guy still had much to do. He was still moving along on his own journey. I kind of like that philosophy.
Our family recently took a little journey of our own. Not a philosophical one, like I have been talking about, but a real get on a plane and fly off somewhere journey. We were supposed to travel to Cancun, Mexico to help my in-laws celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary. Eventually we did, but our trip took a couple of unexpected turns.
We arrived at the Birmingham airport for our 6:30am flight to Charlotte, North Carolina where we would meet up with my husband’s sister and her family, get on another plane with them, and fly to Cancun. We planned to rock that plane all the way to Mexico. We don’t get to see them often, so when we do, the twelve of us can get a little rowdy. (Yes, twelve.)
Except a dense fog had settled into Charlotte and nothing was flying into that airport. We lived in Charlotte for twelve years and I had never heard of such a thing, but that day, that day fog decided to settle over the Queen City. Our flight was delayed for thirty minutes.
Then an hour.
Then another hour.
We were going to miss our connecting flight. I began to pray that the plane in Charlotte would be delayed. I was sorry for the other people who would be delayed, but we needed to catch that plane. There was no other plane to Cancun from Charlotte that day.
Finally, we got on our plane. Twenty minutes later, we got off that plane. US Airways had cancelled our flight. We would not meet our family in Charlotte, we would not rock the plane, and we would not get to Cancun that day.
Instead, we went to Philadelphia. That’s right. In order to get to Cancun the next day, we first had to fly almost nine hundred miles north and spend the night. We were not dressed for Philadelphia. We were dressed for Cancun. Our family would not be there to greet us in Philadelphia. They were in Mexico.
We were tired, and disappointed. We would miss one of our days in beautiful Cancun, and we would miss a whole day with our extended family. But… we were on a journey. Our journey took a turn we didn’t expect, but then, don’t they do that sometimes? And hasn’t it been said that life is in the journey, not the destination? So Philly it was.
It was the first time any of us had ever been to Philly. And no offense to you Philadelphians, but you can keep it. Brrr. We didn’t even leave the airport; instead we chose to stay right there in a hotel. However, we did have an authentic Philly Cheese steak sandwich. YUM! There truly is no substitute for the real thing.
In the bigger picture, I still have no idea why our journey took that unexpected turn. I don’t think it was so we could taste a real steak sandwich… although, God can be pretty whimsical like that. Still, I trust in a God who decided to cancel our flight. I trust in a God who made sure we arrived to Cancun on His timetable and right on schedule.
When I look at my philosophical life’s journey, I have ended up in a place I never planned to be. I have taken some roads that felt very much like detours and pig trails. Nothing anyone would intentionally travel. Maybe you look at your own journey and think similarly.
Joseph of the Old Testament certainly ended up in a different place than he expected to be. Sold into slavery by his own flesh and blood, and sold again. Wrongly accused and imprisoned. Forgotten… for years… only then to be raised up to serve his true purpose. He was to save his people. God had a plan in Joseph’s journey. The destination never changed. Joseph’s dreams were proof of that. He was always to lead his family, but he never knew truly what that meant. Not until he saw it come to pass did he really get it; did he see the plan, the purpose in it all.
I’ve written recently about having a different mindset about life in general. I may not know where my life’s journey will take me, but I do know my eternal destination. In the meantime, as I traverse this life, I will do it with a sense of adventure for the twists and turns, ups and downs that will come. Why? Because the great Navigator is in control, and he is planning some great and wonderful surprises… if I will only say yes… and eagerly chase after him anyway. If I will only follow him. Am I tired? Yes, I am. Most of the time, I am drop dead tired by the end of my day. But, like my friend, I can sleep when I’m dead. Until then, I am ready for the journey. Bring it on!