Denver, Cleveland, Just Get There

missed flight

I am headed to Denver this morning and no, that’s not where I meant to/was supposed to go today.  I was headed to Baltimore then Cleveland before I arrived at the airport five minutes after they closed the boarding door and my plane left without me.

When I woke up 45 minutes late, I knew that this would be no usual, uneventful, or simple day.  As I stood there looking longingly at the empty gate area, huffing and puffing from brisk walking, all I could hear was my great Aunt Sue who always had to be at the train depot (she didn’t fly) two hours early because “the train and the plane don’t wait on you.”

Lesson one today: They absolutely, positively do not! Neighbors and friends might honk and wait, but trains and planes do not.

For some reason I think about heaven every time I arrive and the door to the plane/bank/post office/whatever is closed, or while I’m standing nervously while a receptionist scans a list for my name but doesn’t find it. Some Bible stories you forget—the one about the virgins and the wedding isn’t one of them.

You remember? Some were wise and others were foolish and they needed lamps and oil for the trip. The wise brought both, the foolish brought lamps but no oil. As they waited, oil got low and the prepared ones replenished and continued visiting with friends and loved ones.

The foolish needed to replenish their lamps but because they hadn’t brought any oil, they had to go buy more when their friends wouldn’t share. While they were gone, the wedding started and they were left outside the door, all dressed up and they, too, had to head to Denver. Well, it wasn’t exactly like that since Denver hadn’t been created yet but I believe no experience is wasted if you learn from it. Here are three more lessons for today:

Lesson two: Aunt Sue was right. Denver was beautiful but way off course. My original plan gave me a beautiful day for traveling and scenery, instead almost 12 hours later, it was dark, rainy, and difficult to see. Life can be like that, too. Baseball great and philosopher Yogi Berra puts it this way: “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

Yogi is right. Even if you know where you’re going, you still might end up somewhere else but with a plan you’re more likely to reach your original destination on time. Pay attention –preparation and planning trump good intentions every time.

Lesson three: Even if you end up someplace else, enjoy the scenery and be thankful for the journey. Today’s scenic route included not just Denver but Oklahoma City and St. Louis, too. I’ve been taking roads less travelled this year though this gave new meaning to it, so I just trusted God that there was some reason, some blessing I was supposed to get along this path. I was right. I met nice people, had a beautiful lunch, and enjoyed some reading and reflection time.

Lesson four: Take responsibility for your actions. The plane did what it was supposed to do—I did not. So often we want to blame others for our poor planning, for getting “our promotion,” whatever, when our role is where we should start the analysis and examination. Pamela, the gate agent, was kind and simply helped me rebook. Imagine how much nicer our world would be if we all relaxed and went to Denver more often. (The Denver Chamber of Commerce paid no promotional fees for this free advertising.)

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

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