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It was time to head to the airport for a reserved flight to Newark, NJ.  As I drove the 38 miles, I was pleased with my strategy.  The traffic flowed smoothly and I arrived at the airport with two hours and twenty-five minutes before my plane would take off.

Then, I got to the airport for the shock of my life.  I walked into a building that was buzzing with people, luggage being dragged and people sounding off with short tempers.  My briefcase was in tow along with my single wheeled baggage.

IMG_3278The line of people that was to my left was enormous.  I thought to myself, “I sure am glad that I am not in that long line.  That’s ridiculous.

Reality set in when I approached the check-in area for my airline.  The line that I had been walking past for the last 1/8 of a mile was the line that I needed to enter!  Argh!

Hurriedly, I walked back.  Many people who I were passing me were going to be in for the same rude awakening that I just experienced.  Finally, I arrived at the end of the line and took my place.

Scores of people flooded past me and formed into the even longer line.  People stopped and asked if I was in the line for the airlines that advertises cheap prices.  “Yes, I am.  Sorry!  The end of the line is way behind me.”

People were trying to cut in line.  Then, Houston police officers starting showing up.  They were not working for the Transit Authority or the Airlines.  The only reason that they were there was to keep order in the line.

The group that was arguing and complaining to one of the airline agents who happened to be trying to sort out the lines never did realize that if they had just stood in line with me that they would have passed their spot where they were arguing and be making some real progress.

Check-in only took one hour and thirty-three minutes.  TSA gave me pre-screening clearance.  That allowed me to sail through security without even having to take off my shoes.

I was waiting at my gate for fifteen minutes when the group of complainers showed up exhausted and still complaining and announcing that they would never fly this carrier again.  I just put on my noise-cancelling headset and turned on the switch to listen to some great praise music until the boarding announcement was called.

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography

Oh, if we could only control the weather.  Our lives would be so much more under control if we could schedule the seasonal storms.  Or maybe if we could just predict the weather with long-range precision we could easily avoid scheduling delicate plans like plane flights so that delays are non-existent or cancellations are moments of remember ancient history.

We schedule classes to be taught by visiting professors on a weekly basis.  As an extension campus we can only finish populating our curriculum with teachers from our main campus 200 miles to the North.  That calls for a juggling act of enormous proportions.

But the weather doesn’t always cooperate.  In Texas the inclement storms are big.  It is the same story no matter where in our country or in the world I have lived, everyone in every culture complain about the weather.

I was in my office creating plans for the next administrative move on our fledgling program here in the great city of Houston.  There was someone standing in my office door opening.  When I looked up, one of our staff members calmly mentioned that some of our visiting professors were going to be late for class.

That’s when I sat back and recalled the thunderous noise of cascading rain, rumbling thunder and massive flashes of lightning that had deluged our city just hours before.  “Rats! Planes will be delayed with this massive storm.  No wonder those visiting professors would be delayed.”

This was one of those moments for a short prayer, “God, please watch over the safe arrival of our traveling faculty and students.  See them all safely here and safely home.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

Rising from my desk I roamed our halls intending to sooth annoyed students.  After all they have sacrificed to be here, rushed through traffic from work, chosen to devote hours of their life to prepare for the work that God has given them to do.  My mind and heart were ready to take on the brunt of any complaints, listen to frustrations and apologize for the inconveniences.

To my pleasant surprise our students were cheerful.  They were understanding.  No one was complaining.  Whining was non-existent.

Instead, we laughed, joked and teased.  Students expressed their assurance that they were looking forward to hearing what their profs had to teach them.  Eventually the profs all came and the students were eager to soak up all that they could learn.  We have the best students! 

photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography