It is Christmastime. There are seemingly about a million people traveling through airports at this time of year. Everyone is in a hurry. Everyone has important people to see or things to do on the other side of whatever leg of travel they are currently on. So naturally, things can get a little heated in airports on occasion, especially in long security lines.
Today I had the most awful airport experience I have had in my life. We travel a lot, so I am not unaware of how hectic things can be, how long lines can be, and how occasionally frustrating air travel can be. I am actually quite ok with these things.
But today was a little different. I won't outline the whole debacle, because I don't want to complain. But basically, we were in an extremely long line, made more frustrating by the fact that things were not being handled or run efficiently. As I stood there, I was actually thinking--ok, Lord, how do you want to use this frustrating situation to mature and sanctify me today? How can I represent you well? Love is patient, love is kind. Bear with another.
Now before I make myself sound too terribly self-righteous--I think probably on any other given day I may have been trying to hold back choice words for how vexing the situation was. That is certainly my nature. But lately I have tried really hard to look for what the Lord may be trying to teach me in different scenarios and how he may be conforming me into his likeness through various circumstances. And he has faithfully given this type A, slightly control-freak girl the grace to have a little more patience.
But then came the really hard part. People started being just downright mean. The spirit of the group was unhelpful, unkind, and uncaring. As I watched how the people around me acted, I was so upset. I just could not comprehend how people could be so unkind to one another. For no reason. And how employees did not take a stand to correct the situation; in fact, they aided in it. Being the emotional basket case that I am, I burst into tears at the whole scene. And I just couldn't get past it.
We ended up missing our flight. Which is upsetting because it made an already short trip significantly shorter. But that is not what was most affecting by any means.
So--what am I going to take from this experience? Honestly, I don't know yet. There has got to be something positive to glean from it, so I am going to keep thinking about that. As I started writing this post, my intention was to come to the positive and helpful conclusion at the end, that I can apply going forward. But I am just not seeing it yet. Maybe I just needed to vent a little. Or maybe I am still a little too upset by the lack of compassion and humanity that I saw today. The world needs Jesus, that is for sure. And maybe that is what I should take away. That, and the fact that it is my responsibility to represent him, even in a situation like this one. The other thing that keeps coming to mind is the fact that behind every person is an entire world of relationships, hurts, and intricacies. You never know what a person you pass on the street (or in the airport) may be going through. So a spirit of forgiveness must be the rule of thumb, as well as a lens of eternal perspective.