As I write this, I’m sitting in an airport lounge in Seoul, Korea.
We’ve been in the air over 17 hours and have 5 more to go in order to reach Hanoi, Vietnam, our destination. I have something to drink, and a soft chair, and an internet connection, and I’m blessed to be heading to see the work of God in a new part of the world (to me). This is the best case scenario.
Still, travel represents one of the everyday experiences God can use for transformation. When we travel, so much is out of our control.
Think cancelled flights, lost luggage, crying babies, delays, and slow people who clog the TSA lines.
It doesn’t matter if it’s international travel, or going to Target with two toddlers in tow, our formation often comes in situations we want to escape from.
I think of another “traveler” – Moses – and his “toddlers”, the Israelites. If he had had his choice he probably would have gone it alone, and preferred straight line from Egypt to the Promised Land, bypassing the 40 years in the desert wandering thing.
When the Israelites are being difficult, Moses says, “What am I to do with these people?” Which is exactly the question you may be asking today.
What am I to do with this colleague who’s not on time with his assignment?
What am I to do with the people who keep asking “How are you doing?” when what they mean is “Are you pregnant yet?”
What am I to do with this toddler who can’t ever seem to find his shoes when it’s time to get out the door?
What am I to do with this person in front of me at the 10 item express checkout line with 23 items in her cart? (not that I’m counting)
This is the question I ask myself in the passport control line which seems not to move for 137 hours.
And God answers, “Pray for them.”
So I take a deep breath, and pray.
And as I pray, I picture the soldier’s family at home, I see the official’s boredom, see the young mama’s fatigue, the college student’s anxiety in a strange place…
Maybe I pray with a little more of Jesus’ heart than if I had focused on my own impatience.
God is working in your waiting – whether it’s waiting in line at Target, or at Passport control, or to cross the Jordan river after 40 years.