After a full day of shopping, bone-tired exhaustion set in. I “deserved” a treat. I smiled and slurped my hot chai as I strolled down the terminal.
Shopping is work. Hard work with aching feet to prove it. I know you are smirking over there. But twelve hour days at Vegas Market thrilled me and caused brain overload at the same time. New ideas, and products, and the blast of jewel toned colors exploded in my head like firecrackers in a summer sky.
And thus my mistakes began. I wasn’t thinking when I bought the chai, that I couldn’t take my warm cup of comfort through security. But no worries, my flight was delayed twenty minutes so I leisurely enjoyed my warm beverage on the benches outside the entrance. Mistake #1.
After an uneventful security check, I headed toward my “D” gate. I had to hop a tram to a different terminal, so I stepped it up a bit. In the crush of passengers exiting the tram, I followed the crowd, assuming they were going where I was. Really! Mistake #2.
As I accompanied them onto the escalator I realized half way down, I had made a terrible blunder. I was headed to baggage claim. In a panic, I sprinted into high gear, running up the too-slow-escalator at the far end of baggage, only to find that I had to go through security again!
Time was ticking, and the sweet new mom in front of me had never flown with a tiny baby. She struggled to load four bins, and remove her shoes, and take apart her stroller and hold her sleepy baby. Trying not to look at my watch, I smiled and encouraged her. I wanted to cut in front of her, but with my help, and the passenger behind me, we got it all loaded on the security belt.
Through the electronic capsule I flew, only to find myself behind her again. They had to hand check her diaper bag for all kinds of dangerous-to-national-security items a new mommy might carry.
And to top it off, this time they decided to check my bag. They were not interested in the fact that I’d already been through security twenty minutes before and had exited with no concerns. For some reason my two silver dollar sized crustless quiches and my scary pumpkin bread looked suspicious.
Now I was in real trouble. That security fiasco had taken fifteen minutes I did not have. Determined to run all the way if I had to, I pulled my ticket to check the gate and realized fatal mistake #3. I was in terminal “D.” I was supposed to be in terminal “C.”
Not a good time to let my blonde hang out.
You’d think I was a novice traveler, not someone who flies multiple times a year and around the globe. In true panic mode, I jumped back on the tram, praying it would’t be too far. As it pulled into the station, my heart sank. My flight left in fifteen minutes.
Racing down the terminal and praying hard, I saw the plane, but noticed the door was shut. Not a good sign. I zoomed up to the desk and pleaded as they told me, “Sorry, the flight is already closed.” A midnight return which was bad enough, was going to turn into a next day flight.
As my shoulders sagged, one said,
“You are Oklahoma City correct?”
“Let me call and get him to come open the door for you, this is the last flight out so I can’t put you on anything else.”
Thank you Lord!
My problem that day was no different than most days when I am self-absorbed and not living aware. I can easily be led astray by three things :
1. Distraction: The world dangles wonderful enticements in front of our face, and I let the neon sign of comfort food and beverage distract me from getting to my gate first, and foremost. (application-God first– self last)
2. A false sense of security: Not paying close enough attention to the time, I let the twenty minute delay posted on the board, lull me into a relaxed state of being. (Trust in God– not in self.)
3. Following the crowd: Just like we tell our teens, if your group all decided to jump off a cliff, would you join? Evidently I forgot that line and followed the crowd blindly downstairs instead of keeping my eyes on the signs. (Keep my eyes on the prize–or be a follower .)
Wise words from a wise man, David set the example. He knew just who to keep his eyes on and where to go, “Do not be far from me, for trouble is near and there is no one to help” and, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” Psalm 22:11 and Psalm 46:1