Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Final Boarding Call

"I Found Joy in a BIG God" Part Nineteen

I had never seen so much activity. This was a busy place. All the seating was quickly filled and travelers were lining walls, sitting, standing, all seemed anxious to be on their way. I wondered where they were all going. Was their vacation just beginning or, like me, were they traveling home? Where was home? Were they anticipating a welcoming arrival or returning to loneliness, mundane, struggles, having taken a brief reprieve from crushing life circumstances. Was their time away for business or pleasure? I looked at faces. Some seemed tired and confused. Cell phones were active. Conversations swirled around me. Few were sitting like I was - taking in their surroundings. To many this was just the means to an end, a stop over, a necessity before life would continue. I silently prayed that God would help me be sensitive to needs even here.

Being a 'people watcher', I took note of details. The man who looked bothered by the noise as he read his paper. The young family trying to keep their eyes on restless children. The very fidgety gal, probably nervous of the flight ahead. The young person desperate for sleep, eyes closed, slumped uncomfortably in his chair. All strangers to me, yet known intimately by God.

As time passed, minutes turned to hours. It was now less than an hour before scheduled take-off and alarm bells began to ring inside my head. First of all, there wasn't any sign of my friend Lorie. Where could she be? I knew she had gone shopping with some other gals and was meeting me at the airport, but I had assumed she would be here by now. Also, as I glanced around again, I only saw "United Airline" signs and I was flying "Air Canada". The room was crowded, matching my ever, increasing thoughts. Panic began to rise. Was I in the correct area? Announcements of destinations and delayed flights were frequent, but I hadn't heard mention of Toronto, Canada. Familiar feelings of anxiety began to surface. Inwardly I cried out to the Lord to somehow confirm my location.

The sweet, elderly lady who had recently sat to my right suddenly turned to me and inquired, "Are you traveling to Toronto, dear?" Yes! Yes I was! She asked if I had heard that our flight had been delayed. No I hadn't. I compared exact flight numbers to be positive she was indeed on my plane, and thanked the Lord for again having compassion on my weakness.

After double-checking with an airline attendant as to the estimated departure of our flight, we discovered we had at least another hour delay because of severe weather in Toronto. Realizing we now had an almost 2 hour wait, this sweet new friend asked, "Dear, would you like to go get something to eat with me?" Oh yes. Yes, I would!

Just a stone's throw away was a pizza kiosk, enough to satisfy our rising hunger pains. As we sat and talked together I discovered this lady was on her way home from visiting her daughter's family and had spent a precious week with adoring grandchildren. Home for her was down East, and Toronto was just a stop-over on her journey as she had to make a connecting flight. (Oh, Thank You Lord, for not giving this woman a direct flight home!)

Conversation drifted to my reason for visiting North Carolina, and as Lorie and Val joined us at the table, we shared with her some of the experiences we had personally enjoyed with God over the past two days. Sharing about my verse and "word", it was thrilling to see Val as she hunted for her card. With tears in her eyes she received the very word she so needed to hear from the Lord.

Looking at my watch I realized it was about 40 minutes until take-off, so excused myself to run to the washroom. Our elderly friend went to check on any further delays. As I was coming out of the washroom she was running frantically towards me waving her arms exclaiming, "They're calling final boarding for our flight!' AHHH!! Running to notify Lorie and Val, I grabbed my belongings and took off as fast as possible to our Boarding Gate.

Can you imagine being so close...only feet away...after waiting so long and then missing your flight? So close, yet missing your trip home. Sadly many around us are in that exact same condition. "Close" doesn't count when it comes to salvation. I've often talked about friends who I feel are "so close" to accepting the Lord, but if they were to die this moment their knowledge without personal acceptance doesn't put them 'close' to heaven. Their destination remains hell. I had a dear friend who was seeking. She was asking questions. She even acknowledged that it quite possibly could be God she was missing from her life. She was so close to taking that step of faith, but instead she took her own life. I will never forget that loss and the realization that 'close' is never close enough. Had I missed that final boarding call, the flight would have left without me. One day Christ will return. Are you ready for His final boarding call?

Thank You God. Thank You for the gift of this sweet little lady. Thank You for the friendship she extended. Thank You for the fellowship we shared. Thank You for using her to get me home. Lord, I pray something in our conversation will continue to ring in her heart that would help get her home....to her eternal home.

Well, friends, keep hanging in there. I have two more posts to write to bring this journey to a close. Sweet blessings to you all today!

10 comments:

Diane said...

Hey I saw your comment on Melissa's blog. I stand ready with my pom pom's to cheer you and to encourage you. I too need accountablity.
Now go exercise. :-)
Diane

Runner Mom said...

Don't you just love how God puts those wonderful people in our paths for a short time! I was struggling last night during a bike ride--actually, I was getting bored and needed someone to talk to to take my mind off of how much further the ride was! God placed a darling girl right there beside me! We chatted and found that we had lots in common. She then mentioned that she was going through an ugly divorce. I stepped out in faith and asked how I could pray for her. It surprised her, but she shared what her request was. It was a God moment on a country road in the middle of nowhere! He is all over the place--airports, grocery stores, and She Speaks! Joy, thanks for thsi post!!
Love ya,
Susan

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Wow. What a touching post. The reference to your friend who was seeking and so close yet took her own life...my heart knows no words yet is heavy. How sad.

Yet another blessing to read of your journey with God.

tiggerdaisy said...

How right you are Joy. So many are so close that they can taste it, but unfortunately are too late. It makes it ever more clear that we are to share the gospel and not be ashamed or intimidated into not doing it. It makes me realize that I must live my faith daily with strong conviction and courage.

Joy, I savor your "She Speaks Journey" stories! I don't want them to stop! And there are only TWO more left?? ARGH! :)

Prayers and blessings,
Rebecca

Marilyn said...

I can't wait to read the two final chapters of your journey of faith! Each one gets better and better!

Marilyn

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Truly amazing how God worked on your behalf in so many ways and through so many people. Good thing he doesn't need a nap.

Seriously, what an incredible journey for you!

peace~elaine

Leah said...

Great post!! How true!! Thanks for letting me know you got the speaker packet. It sure did take a long time to get to you. Feel free to email me with any questions you have. God bless you dear one!!

Leah

Melissa said...

Joy,

I stand in awe of your amazing weekend from start to finish! Wow!

Joy, I love the way you posted about each and every detail of your She Speaks journey.

On a different note, did you exercise today? I didn't, but I will tomorrow.

Love you! We MUST talk soon! Call the P31 toll free number. Does that work from Canada?

Love you,
Melissa

hkudla said...

Wow, God is so good isn't He?

Thank you for taking the time to write all this out.

I finally got my God moment on my blog just now. Hopefully it will bless others.
I did it without editing as much as I like to, but i just wanted to get it out there for others to read.
God bless you,
and love you!
Heather

Amy L Brooke said...

Very cool. I love it when God sends people our way!