by Pastor Leo Launio
On February 5, 2019, my son and I eagerly boarded our United Airlines flight from Toronto for Denver International Airport in Colorado. As we settled at our designated seats, I was hoping that this 4-hour flight will afford me a quiet time for reflection. But as it turned out, it was not meant to be.
Three rows in front of us was a group of three middle-aged women who were having the time of their lives. For 4 hours, they continuously talked loudly and alternately laughed hilariously. For a moment, I thought that we were at the playground with a bunch of kids simply enjoying themselves.
On our next flight from Denver to Orange County, California, my son, once again, chose to sit by the window and I was stuck in the middle. In contrast to our first flight from Toronto, this flight had an entertainment system. I was hoping that this 2 ½ hour flight will provide me the opportunity to watch some news highlights. Again, as it turned out, it was not meant to be.
Seated beside me was a young adult man who seemed to be totally inward-focused. At the beginning of this flight, I greeted him, but he didn’t even return the favor. Without saying anything, he simply took his seat, put his big headphones, pulled up his hoodie, and started playing on his cell phone. Everything was fine with me except for one thing.
As I started to watch some news highlights, the channels would suddenly change, the volume would either increase or decrease and on several occasions, the system would turn off. All these happened, courtesy of my seatmate whose arm was resting on my entertainment control pad and seemed oblivious to what was happening.
Reflecting on these two incidents, I asked myself these questions: Is it possible that I could be too indulged in what I am doing that I fail to recognize the events that are happening around me? More importantly, is it possible that I can be too focused on my problems that I fail to see God’s blessings?
Notice how the Bible describes Jesus’ two disciples as they made their way to Emmaus, “They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was.” (Luke 24:13-16, MSG).
In the same vein, Jesus describes the Second Coming this way, “For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24:38-39, KJV)
Fortunately, my son and I reached our destination safely. But the lessons from these two flights will remain with me.
[image credit: lifehopeandtruth.com]