“If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:13 (NIV)
I talked last time about the wonderful family vacation we were able to share this past summer with my sister and her family. Fast forward approximately ten days later and I was again packed, heading back out to California. This time I was going alone. My dad was receiving the John Price Award through the International Conference of Police Chaplains (ICPC) and it was important to him that his family be there. My dad was a pastor throughout my entire childhood and into my young adulthood; however it wasn’t until he became a police and fire chaplain that he stepped into his true calling. It’s been wonderful to watch his ministry grow while he shares his love for God with police officers and strangers alike.
God showed He was in charge of this trip way back in May when my mom and aunt booked the flights. They were booked hours apart and when my aunt attempted to fly on the same flight, she was told it was already full. She tried anyway and was given a choice of the only two seats left – one which was next to mine! That was reassurance to me that God had this trip covered – from the connections to the seat assignments to the flights themselves. So going into this trip I didn’t have any fear – just sadness at saying goodbye to my husband and kids for four days.
The day of the flight my parents and aunt were a little concerned with the short layover time – praying hard that my first flight would get in on time so that I wouldn’t miss the connection in Denver. I told them several times God had this and I continued to have peace that all would go smoothly.
After saying goodbye to my family at the airport, the first flight looked to be going well and they were even predicting it would arrive ahead of schedule. However, about 1 ½ hours into the flight, the pilot came over the loudspeaker and announced that those on the left side of the plane (which was me) could look out their window and see why we were being delayed 50 minutes as they rerouted us 130 miles out of the way before landing. We looked out the window but honestly, I saw nothing (maybe that was a good thing!). I concluded God would also delay the connecting flight and stayed peaceful.
More than an hour after our original arrival time, we landed. I quickly turned on my airplane app to see what the status was of the next flight. To my dismay, it said, “On Time.” I think I was in denial, but tried to remain positive that I could deplane (we were still taxing to the gate) and run to catch the flight that was leaving in five minutes. I was the first one off the plane. One look at my aunt’s face and I realized quickly that planes are only held for people in the movies. We found out later that the connecting flight left four minutes early. Unbeknownst to us in the air, the Denver Airport had been in a deadlock for over an hour – no planes flying in or out. Some planes were being rerouted to Colorado Springs while others (like mine) were just diverted around the weather and allowed to land later.
Come back next time and I will reveal how this imperfect adventure was as much a blessing from God as our “perfect” vacation ten days’ prior.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015