Friday, 5 April 2013
Pushed into Blessing!
When I travel, I normally look for the least expensive tourist ticket, thereby exercising better stewardship of money. Often such tourist tickets oblige you to take a single airline on all legs of the journey. If you miss a particular flight on that airline, you have to wait till the next available flight on that carrier.
For one particular trip, I was to depart on a Tuesday morning from the international airport and continue with connections all the way to Los Angeles, where I was to attend meetings Wednesday through Friday. I would have to leave soon after the meetings on Friday night to get back home for some other programs. The entire trip would be canceled if I was unable to make it to the international airport on time that Tuesday morning.
To ensure I arrived on time, I reserved a seat well in advance on a domestic flight that would get me to where I needed to be on the night before departure. The domestic flight took off, on time on Monday evening. But then, trouble started. For some reason the flight landed in another airport. An announcement told us, we would not get to the international airport until the following day, meaning I would almost certainly miss my connections.
As usual, the ground staff distributed complimentary hotel vouchers for the night stay. But there was no ground transportation available. We were advised to take taxis in groups, according to the hotels assigned to us. Because of the sudden demand and the lack of late-night taxicabs, my group had to wait for a long time before a taxi was available.
Finally, my turn came—or so I thought. I had two pieces of luggage, while others in our group only had hand-carried bags. As I was about to load my suitcase, a stout man in the group pushed me out and allowed his friend, who was not in line, to get in. The taxi left without me.
As we were all strangers to one another, and everyone wanted to get some sleep in the hotel, no one bothered to interfere when my right to board the taxi was violated. I didn’t make any noise about it either. I quietly carried my luggage back to the very end of the taxi line, saying “Praise the Lord” in my heart as I was walking back.
“Praise the Lord”, I said again, a little more loudly this time, since we are asked to thank and praise the Lord for all things at all times (see Colossians 1:12; Ephesians 5:20). So there we stood, waiting for the taxis that occasionally showed up. By now it was getting very late at night. Suddenly I noticed a private car stopping near the line. A man got out to search for someone, and soon came to the end of the line and started talking to the two passengers behind me. Earlier, when I realized that they two had been given vouchers to stay in the same hotel as I was, I had asked them to join me for the taxi ride, since the taxi could seat four people.
As I listened to the conversation, I realized that one of them was the chief manager of a firm and that the man in the car was his junior manager in that city. During a telephone conversation, the junior manager had come to know that his boss was stranded at the airport. I saw the two passengers getting ready to go with him. I wished I could go too, since they were heading to my hotel. At that time of the night it would be much safer to ride in a private car than in a taxi.
Just when I had resigned myself to continuing my wait, the men looked at me and invited me to join them. I continued praising the Lord in my heart while I loaded my suitcase in the trunk. We all got seated comfortably, and proceed to the hotel. I thanked the Lord for the man who had crowded into the line a few minutes earlier. I thanked and praised the Lord for the ride and the company of those men.
To be continued…