The Genius of Inconvenience

Our family loves travel like E.T. loves home.

But travel is often tough. Uncomfortable, patience-stretching, anxiety-producing tough. This is what we’ve learned – it doesn’t matter whether it’s a road trip, or driving a carpool, or taking a bus downtown, or business commuting to 3 cities in a day, or something more exotic.

We heard a leader once say that he doesn’t make any major hires unless he has traveled somewhere with the candidate because travel can reveal so much about a person’s character.IMG_5483

(In case you can’t read this it says there may not be a toilet on the plane :))

Although travel can reveal our character, God can also use it to refine our character.

Recently, we were headed out on a trip and John discovered the night before that he had booked his flight for 7 P.M. and mine for 7 A.M. (Uh, no…I have no idea how that happened).

When we arrived, we found that he had booked our rental car for a different city (on the opposite coast) where he had traveled not long ago.

While walking to the car rental desk we got a call from our friends who were supposed to host us in their home, saying they had food poisoning and we’d have to find a hotel.

Lastly, when we were heading home, a freak snowstorm hit and our flight was cancelled.

We’d like growth to happen while we’re flying first-class with wine and fluffy pillows, but that’s not the way it works. Growth is uncomfortable – found in the middle seat at the back of the plane or in the driver’s seat of a mini-van carrying toddlers.

Sooooo, on our recent trip, as I was glaring at my husband and suggesting alternate forms of transportation while standing at the rental car desk, I had the opportunity to pray “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner. Please give me the grace and patience you’ve shown me for others.”

When our flight was cancelled it was a chance to pray for perspective and repeat a line that we heard years ago and has become our refrain in situations when things go wrong: “You can cancel my flight, but you can’t cancel my day.”

When one thing after another seemed to go wrong we could still choose to pray with gratitude for all that was good.  We had some mentors years ago who would say to each other while traveling “There’s no one I’d rather be lost with than you!” and we’ve adopted it for another one of our travel mantras.

“An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered.” G.K.Chesterton

Wherever you’re traveling today, whether cross-town or cross-country, which of these prayers do you need most? What’s one of your worst travel experiences?

 

4 Comments

  1. I
    can’t help but giggle… Travis is our master traveler and he has done the SAME
    THING! I’ve had a ton of mishaps traveling..but one instance is popping up in my mind. Here goes… a little long winded but a good story 🙂
    In college I had a summer job where I got to travel around the United States. (Incidentally, I met Travis originally in WI, through this summer job, but that’s a different
    story!) Anyway, after one camp I totally dropped the ball and got to the
    airport too late for my flight. As I ran up to the gate the attendants where
    just closing the door and I begged for them to let me on, but needless to say,
    I didn’t get out on that flight. This was a HUGE deal because at the time, I
    was a college athlete and I had to be back for Media Day later that afternoon;
    and I was gonna be in BIG trouble if I didn’t make it in time. I noticed there
    was another flight out going to Orlando so I sprinted to the gate. In tears, I
    explained why I had to be home on time and they put me on standby… Well, I
    was STILL “standing by” when that flight left too! This happened a few more
    times throughout the day, and I eventually was able to get on a flight that had
    a connection in St Louis. Two different flights were cancelled in St Louis and
    I ended up spending over 14 hours trying to get home to Orlando.

    I was a basket case throughout the day. I found myself eating lunch next to an older gentleman who stuck up a conversation with me. (I was NOT in the mood to talk, but found a bit of friendliness tucked away to manage a conversation.) We were discussing my very bad, terrible,horrible, no good day. He said to me before he left, “You know, there must
    be a reason why God didn’t want you to make it to media day today, so,
    take advantage of the quiet time and as Him what He wants from you today.”
    We said our goodbye’s and I found myself shaking his hand that had a superbowl
    ring. He introduced himself and for the life of me I can’t remember his name.
    But I thought it was neat that the Lord would place me next to somebody that
    understood why it was important to be at Media Day! It was a LONG day….But, every now and then on bad travel days, I can still here that big, former football player tell me
    to enjoy the day the Lord has made and to ask Him how I can serve Him in that
    particular instance!

  2. Austin Dannhaus

    March 24, 2015 at 11:58 AM

    Did you hear the one about the guy who’d never been to Africa, and ends up taking a 9 hour drive to a remote part of the country, complete with two hitch-hiked legs of the trip with complete strangers? Did I mention he was also carrying two massive boxes full of panties and pads? Nothing like diving in head first…

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