There are two words that airline travelers just do not like very much.  One is “Delayed” and the other is “Cancelled”.  When those very expensive Arrival and Departure boards announce one of these hiccups in someone’s schedule, there is an uproar in the crowds that populate the equivalent of a small city otherwise known as an international airport.

Today was one of those days of national travel that was one rousing “oh oh” after the next.  Everything went smoothly to get me away from the comforts of home, options to bail and return home or rent a car and head home.  Instead, once I was 1500 miles away from home waiting for a connecting flight the bad news started with a gate change.

A large number of humanity rose from their seats, all shared in a common suspicion worn on our faces and then we moved across the waiting room at another gate.  Soon another flight gate was changed.  That one too was just one gate away.  Someone whispered, “They’re giving our plane away to another flight.”

That plane left and our flight was announced as a “Delay.”  Hmm…the speculation around the waiting room went into high gear.  A senior lady was next to cussing under her breath. 

She whipped her head toward me and told me her troubles through an entire day of waiting and delays.  I humored her and she laughed. Then I listened some more.  Her cussing subsided and soon disappeared.

It’s telling when the agents behind the desk are stone faced and shaking their heads.  One of my neighbors gasped, “They cancelled our flight!”  She saw the news on her I-pad.

Without panic I rose from my seat and walked to the Customer Service counter.  There were only five people in front of me.  But, behind me there were over 40!

I was scheduled to be in Ft. Meyer, FL for a ministry beginning at dinner.  Instead, the airlines flew me to Charlotte, NC and there I had fast food.  Now, I’m waiting for another three hours to board a plane and hopefully land at my final destination just after midnight.

Patience, cheer and trust in God is the only way to travel.  People get grouchy all around me.  It would be easy to get swept up in the craziness but it is much more satisfying to find peace even in messed up circumstances in life.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography