I scurried down the mile-long concourses in the Frankfurt airport, searching frantically for our check-in counter. Dan and Andreas tried to keep up, dragging overweight baggage up and down escalators. I was beginning to feel frantic; it was not a pretty closing to a wonderful trip. Our ten days had passed too quickly. We had seen beautiful farmland, lush forests, incredible castles and towering monuments. Each day we were treated to fresh bread and sausage, dark coffee (kaffee), and fresh apples from the tree.
But the greatest blessings were the new relationships we developed—meals around the table filled with German and English, bantered back and forth through Andreas and Willie, our translators. New friends listened intently as we shared the story of our ministry.
But I digress. Our airport experience continued to get worse. We said tearful goodbyes to Andreas, made our way through the appropriate customs and check-points, and finally arrived at our gate. The area was crowded, all of us waiting to board the non-stop flight to Austin. Dan was called to the side for an extra once-over with the magic wand. My stress levels heightened.
Above the waiting area was a glassed-in office and we could see an airline official pacing, waving his phone around and apparently screaming. This did not bode well. He looked down on all 250 of us, waiting impatiently, lined up to board the plane which was now officially LATE. Events out of his control had him livid, as though screaming into a walkie talkie could change things.
After an extended wait, a bus ride to the plane waiting on the tarmac, and a promise by the pilot that he could make up the lost time, we were finally in the air.
Both my distress and the airline official’s angst had to do with being out of control. We often tell clients, “We get angry/anxious when we feel helpless.” Philippians 4:6-7 says, Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
How quickly I forget!
PS: The just published book, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Dreams and the Unexplainable, contains one of my stories on page 41. Check it out.