Traveling is something I truly enjoy, because I like the array of people I always meet. When I returned from a trip to Indianapolis Saturday evening, my fiancé laughed as I recounted interactions with my new friends on my flight from Indianapolis to Chicago and Chicago to Atlanta. He said that I must talk to everyone sitting around me on flights. The truth is, I do. Why not?
People are a prime example of the diversity and beauty of God. God is hard to define, because God is so much greater than one person. Let me tell you about the four people I met between Indy and Atlanta that gave me a glimpse of God.
When I boarded the puddle jumper from Indy, there were several large men on the flight who had just finished the NFL combine. We all laughed hysterically, as it was obvious this plane was not sized to fit their tall statures. Sitting beside was a slender man in his thirties, a dental hygienist by trade. I shared with him a little bit of my story and my life as a missionary. A smile came across his face and he told me that he grew up the son of two missionaries in Papua New Guinea. A dentist that came to the village in which they served inspired him to be a dental hygienist. We talked about a young man I work with who is struggling in his faith, not knowing whether to follow God or Satan. He volunteered to pray for that young man, though he has never met him and barely knew me.
As I exited the plane and scanned the board for my next gate, one of the tall football players noticed we were on the same flight. As we walked to the gate, we laughed about our small town childhoods, mine in Oklahoma, his in Idaho. As a Division 1 athlete who will likely play in the NFL next year, he was surprisingly humble and a genuinely nice guy. I pray that he remains that way as his life changes next year.
In the spacious exit row of my final flight, I sat between two very opposite men. The older man to my left was a New Yorker (insert strong accent) and a member of the US National handball team, trying to get to Auburn to meet with his teammates and travel to a tournament. The younger man to my right was an adjunct English professor. We were all exhausted, as it was getting quite late, and the professor apologized as he turned on the light to finish editing papers. I asked him not to judge when I started snoring and/or drooling.
Some people travel through crowded airports alone, speaking to no one. With delayed flights and cancellations, it can be frustrating. But, if you take the time to slow down, you may catch a glimpse of the beauty of God in the eyes of the people God created. Don’t let traveling be a hassle, let it be a blessing. You never know who you’ll meet.