Get Off The Plane!

I was happy to push my way through my morning “fog” as the alarm went off at 4am!  Quietly I got myself ready to catch my plane; quick kiss for my hubby, and out the door towards the airport.  It was so early that I only passed 3 or 4 cars along the way!!  Made my way through security, grabbed some coffee and it was time to board. Made it into my seat, grabbed my reading materials, and settled in for a short flight to Salt Lake City. I had planned my timing well; perfect!

Then…..after a 20 minute wait, we are told that the plane is having mechanical issues; should only take 15 more minutes. After 20 more minutes we are told we were going to have to get off the plane till further notice. Amidst the sound of huge groans and cell phones being quickly used; we walked back into the secure area of the airport. One thing I already knew~I was NOT going to make my connecting flight! This was also the plight of most every other passenger! After another 30 minutes we re-boarded the aircraft and headed toward our destination.

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After a smooth flight to Salt Lake City; it was 10:00 am and time to meet with the folks at the Delta Customer service to see what I needed to do now.  I was joined by, at least, 50 other passengers.  I was told to make my self comfortable as I would not be flying out until 5pm!

For work I often travel and I realize that flights are rarely smooth; more often than not there will be challenges to face~ Cancelled flights, late flights, bumpy flights, or flights that are simply too full!

What I found interesting is what I observed while watching my fellow passengers respond to this “inconvenience” in their schedule.  Some were furious; yelling at the flight attendants, angrily calling Delta to give them a piece of their mind, so aggravated that their well-planned day had been interrupted!  I thought to myself “if there was a problem with the plane then taking a nose-dive into the Utah back country would have been a greater problem”……but I thought I ought to keep those thoughts to myself! 🙂

Last week I had worked hard, grabbed some time for recreation, and was heading home to make dinner and relax with my husband–that was the plan.  While driving home in busy traffic a large vehicle slammed into the back of my car! Ugh! This was not part of the day I had planned! Damage to the car was minimal but now my well planned day was ruined! How should I respond?

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Life has interruptions; it really does. Do we keep any margins between our well-planned deadlines and destinations to make room for the “un-planned?” Would an interruption cause you to move to anger, anxiety, or disrespect for those around you? Or could you take a breath, pray, look at this opportunity to be patient, to slow down, and to see what God’s PLAN B just might be?

Interesting thoughts from Rick Warren:  Because God made you for a reason, he also decided when you would be born and how long you would live. He planned the days of your life in advance, choosing the exact time of your birth and death. The Bible says, “You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe. Every day was recorded in your book!” [Psalm 139:16]

If He knows your days; Perhaps we can trust Him with the interruptions or the Plan B. 🙂

My Aching Muscles~

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After 4 years of running, using the elliptical machine, and some free weights; it was time to “shake things up”.   I have access to a fantastic athletic club filled with great classes so it was about time that I utilized one of them.

I decided to take an Intervals class to begin to work on my core and gain new strength.  I was excited about my new adventure!  The class began as i had many items ( weights, step, mat, etc) in my personal space, the music started, and our teacher began to walk us through many moves that tested and challenged every muscle in our bodies.

As I crawled out of bed the next day I had a reaction from every one of those  muscles I had utilized in the class the day before. Just going up and down my stairs was a physical event!  MY MUSCLES WERE SCREAMING AT ME! 🙂 Some of my inner thoughts were “well, I must be too old for this”, I think I better not go to class again.”, I thought I was already healthy, maybe something is wrong…”

I have returned to class numerous times and surprisingly enough the more I have used those muscles the less grief they have caused me.  I was so surprised I had so many muscles I had left under utilized for so long; I am glad I am working on changing this.

I began to think about how this whole experience relates to life as well.  As I walk through the experiences, challenges, and opportunities of my life there are “muscles” that can remain under-utilized if I let them.  The challenge comes when I choose, or am forced, into a situation that requires me to dig really deep, using new emotional, occupational, spiritual, or relational muscles.  It can be painful and stretching.

Let’s imagine that “forgiveness” is a muscle.   If we have allowed ourselves to blame others, carry a grudge, & justify our un-forgiveness for a long period of time, then that “muscle” will probably be pretty weak and untested.  Stretching into becoming a more forgiving person is ultimately a fantastic choice in every way…..but getting there, choosing to regularly forgive, may be a painful road to pursue initially.

Trust, faith, joy, gratefulness, patience, and perseverance are important “muscles”.

Romans 5:3-4 says:      We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.”

Take an assessment today.  Are there any muscles you need to begin to intentionally work on so that they will be strong and effective this new year, do you need to “shake things up”?

Seize the day, my friend. 🙂

Can You Fly?

One day a man found a cocoon of a butterfly.   Soon a small opening appeared.  He sat & watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole.  Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go any further.

The man decided to help the butterfly so he took a pair of scissors & snipped of the remaining bits of the cocoon. The butterfly emerged quite easily but it had a swollen body and shriveled wings.

The man continued to watch it, expecting that at any minute the wings would enlarge & expand enough to support the whole body, neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling.  It was NEVER able to fly.

The man in his kindness and haste did not understand:  The restricting cocoon and the struggle required by the butterfly to get through the opening was a way of forcing the fluid from the body into the wings.  By doing this the butterfly would be ready for flight!

You may have heard this story told over and over; but it’s good to hear it yet again! Character, patience, long-suffering; all the fruits of the Spirit are born out of challenge and adversity. Without those struggles, we wouldn’t grow or tap into our potential.

Certainly, a life without struggles sounds wonderful but we would not be “the best version of ourselves” without those struggles.

Today, you might be facing some real struggles and challenges. Let them make you strong!  Grow into a butterfly and FLY!!!

Galatians 5:22 says,

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.”