This morning started out particularly early. As the alarm went off at 3:50 AM, I stretched frantically to find the snooze button in an unfamiliar hotel room. My eyes were closed as tight as what I would imagine a bear trap to be. As I lay there, I try to gather the random thoughts in my head Thoughts of snowball fights in Tahoe and playing checkers. (Once again, it’s 3:50 AM.) I pray a little before my secondary alarm, the wake-up call, goes off. When it does, I collect myself, shower, grab my bags, and head downstairs.
As I stop rolling my garment bag and set down my backpack, I watch as the shuttle leaves for the airport. It’s okay, he should be back in fifteen minutes. Ken is already downstairs, and within a couple of minutes, the newly Grandmothered Teresa walks up. Not much talking takes place at this time of the morning. The shuttle returns and whisks us away to the airport.
I believe it to be God’s favor that we get in the security line before a large group shows up. As well as the Starbucks line before twenty people file in behind us. And the cafe line as well before, once again, people line up behind us in numbers. We get gather our food and coffee and head to the gate where the plane is about to board as we arrive. Once again, great timing. We load early thanks to the consistent effort and care of the coordinator who checked us in yesterday.
It’s interesting, as the guests fill the plane, I hear considerably more instruction from the flight attendants than I’m used to. Then I realize, they’ve done this before. They understand that the walking zombies have yet to awaken, and therefore need extra attention. The plane fills up and soon only middle seats are available. We have filled a row with our clan. Soon, a mother with a very young and very precious little girl rushes onto the plane.
A male flight attendant begins to make announcements over the p.a. His first announcement:
“Okay folks, we have a mother with a child who needs two seats together. If you have a middle seat next to you, please make those two seats available…I’ll even buy you a Bloody Mary.”
The mother with child in tow continues to walk up and down the aisle to find a gentleman with a heart for her cause.
Flight Attendant: “You remember those resolutions that you wrote down just a short month and a half ago? To clean your room more…to be a better person…this is a great time to make that resolution happen.”
Still nobody moves. Ken and I discuss that we will both find seats if one of the many individuals with middle seats won’t move.
Female flight attendant: “Let me put it this way…we’re not leaving until they are seated together! Surely you’ll be okay in a middle seat for two hours!”
About the time we were going to give up our seats, a man jumped up with a look of disdain on his face and moves to the row in front of him. And with that, we are able to leave.
I wonder what all of the other folks with remaining open middle seats were thinking at this moment. Perhaps; “Thank God I didn’t have to move!” or “She should have gotten here earlier!” or maybe, “Man I’m an idiot. I totally should have gotten up! Why am I so selfish?!”
I don’t know. What I do know is that we should become obsessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Even at our own personal expense. When we do, it makes God the happiest of us all!