Originally posted on Facebook HERE

Greetings from Waupun, WI! Home. Good to be back. Travel is such an interesting study in human interaction. Maybe especially when it involves planes. I guess I feel the need to discuss a few things that came up and/or we encounter frequently while traveling. First off, I usually start a vacation with very little patience for even minor annoyances, and believe me – travel is full of minor annoyances. You gotta get into the area to park, take your ticket, find a parking place, take a photo so you don’t forget where you parked, schlep your bags to the terminal, check in… we almost always check in online before we ever get there, so all we need to do is check bags. Sometimes there’s a line. Sometimes there’s a family of eight checking twelve oversized bags and golf clubs, with only one attendant, and all we need is the damn bags we already checked in and paid for online to be physically weighed and sent to the plane, but oh, no! There couldn’t be a second freaking line, grrr… there are so many minor annoyances. Get the bags checked, head up to the security checkpoint (thank God for TSA precheck, but I swear every airport does that differently as well), sometimes another line, sometimes a random check, and you’re in, baby. I love the feeling once you get through check in and the security line. Now you get to wait for your flight. Why do the have thirty seats at gates with planes that hold sixty people? Maybe you get a seat near your gate, maybe not. Even if you do, half the PA systems are a garbled mess, so when they announce anything all you’ll hear is Charlie Brown’s mother anyway. And there very well could be a couple banshee kids running around with no visible supervision at all as well. Finally a boarding call, why is everyone always in such a hurry to get to their pre-assigned seat? Once you’re actually on the plane – no leg room, the guy in front of you will invariably be the only person on the plane who tilts his seat back, the guy behind you will be a loud talker and will discuss his upcoming boil surgery for two hours straight, the guy next to you will open the stinkiest, grossest meal you’ve ever seen and eat it as sloppily and noisily as possible… and there will be a crying baby in the row next to you. Planes are a great way to learn to let that shit go. Then, when you finally land – what’s up with everyone getting all ready to rush the stage the second you touch down? Don’t you realize we’re in row 33? That 32 rows of people have to get out before it gets to us? Love it when people in the row behind you go ahead, too – like they really need that extra half a second. Sheesh! Off the plane, baggage area – again everyone crams right up to the damn thing like they know their bag will be first. When you actually see your bag on the runway, you gotta Jerome Bettis your way through the line to grab it and possibly take a kid or two with you (hopefully one of the banshee kids from before). OK, through the line, got your bags, ready to just get somewhere and settle in, and – gotta take the hotel shuttle. Well, where is the hotel shuttle? If you’re lucky enough to figure that out, you’ll get there just in time to watch the shuttle drive away and there will be another one in just thirty minutes or so. Son of a… I realize all of this is first world problems. But it’s so easy to get caught up in the anxiety and hostility of the moment – oh my God, watch people freak when a flight is delayed… I learn a lot about myself when I travel. One of my Facebook friends posted a meme today that said this: “We cannot pray in love and live in hate and still think we are worshipping God” – A.W. Tozer. That really hit me, as I know anger and impatience are issues for me. Louis C.K. Has a great bit on this called “Everything is amazing and nobody is happy”. We are centered in our heads, not our hearts. How can we carry God’s loving grace with us if that grace isn’t where we hold our mental base camp? When you squeeze an orange, you get orange juice… when the walls of life squeeze you, what do people get? If you’d like to find out, take a trip. I’m always amazed at my own reactions to anything happening when leaving vs. coming back from a vacation, especially a relaxing vacation. Even if it was only a week, I’m much less likely to let anything bother me on the way back. There are more lessons to be learned than life we can live on this planet. I have a lot of growing up to do 🙂

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