Monday, August 6, 2007

Chicago, Flying and Eternity

For many, a business trip typically involves traveling a distance greater than one desires to drive so a plane flight is a necessity. I've always somewhat enjoyed flying. It's fun to look out the windows, you (typically) get somewhere faster than if you drove, and you are going somewhere that is either new or different from your home. Though I usually do prefer to be home and am always glad to return, traveling is nice and usually provides something interesting to look back on or tell people about once you are home.

There seem to be a huge number of people who travel for business almost full time. I think that for them the excitement of travel is completely lost. Frustration due to delays are a way of life that either build or are dealt with calmly as they come.

I am certainly glad that my business travels has been limited to a couple times a year. Right now I'm back in Chicago for a fire test for one of our products. There were problems when we tried this six weeks ago, so we're back to try again.

The trip home last time took a turn for the worse when we were almost stranded for 24 hours in Charlotte. The flight from Charlotte to Montgomery was cancelled only a few minutes before it was to board. We soon found out that our options were to either wait 24 hours for the next flight with empty seats to Montgomery or to fly to Birmingham later that night. As my mom was willing to pick us up from Birmingham, we gratefully took that flight.

The annoyance of changing flights, having to inconvenience my mom to pick us up, not getting home until midnight, then getting suitcases the next day and arrangements to pick up my car from the Montgomery airport convinced us that layovers were not a good idea. When planning this trip to Chicago, we were excited to find that we could get a direct flight from Birmingham. What could go wrong? The weather was great and we were on time to the airport.

Upon finding our gate, we noticed that the time for our departure flight had changed to an hour later. Not a big deal. Waiting an hour is not too bad. As time went on, flight updates were scarce and the updates we received were never true. The flight was always an hour away, but somehow the plane never arrived. Almost five hours after our intended departure, our plane finally arrived in Birmingham and we were soon off.

Arriving in Chicago and getting the car and driving to the hotel went well and sleep was quite welcome. Something about not getting to sleep until midnight will make one appreciate rest! Today's installation went well. We had no problems so far and I hope that tomorrow we will finish all that we need to do in preparation for the Thursday test.

Why is it that I get annoyed at airport delays? Is it because I sense that the airport flight announcements are intentionally misleading and I like the truth? Is it because I feel that I have a right to get on the plane at the time my ticket says?

There is really nothing difficult about sitting in an airport - especially when you are in a comfortable building and have a book to read. In reality, I didn't really get that annoyed at the delay, it just gets annoying when you realize that almost every trip seems to have similar delays. When will airlines find a way to avoid these types of delays? Or when will we learn to drive instead of flying?

Life in the long run can be compared in some ways to my flight to Chicago. As believers we know that this life is just a spec of time compared to the eternity we will spend in heaven. We are really on a journey to heaven. All we know is that someday soon we will be there. We never really know the exact time the last leg of the journey will take place. We can either use the time we have in transit for good or just waste the time in unholy pursuits. One of these days we will arrive and maybe we'll be surprised at how soon that will be.


Victoria said...

We are so thankful you arrived safely and had a good day today. You have a good attitude about waiting time. Traveling was something you have enjoyed since you were a little girl. I will never forget a trip riding the Greyhound bus to Minnesota from Little Rock. It was just you and me for 24 hours but you had good toys to play with and people loved talking with you. I remember sitting in a bus depot (Chicago?) in the middle of the night. We had fun in Minnesota, too. Hope the test goes well. Love, Mom

Lydia said...

I'm glad you got there safely and that your first day went well! I hope that the fire test goes very well. Have fun in Chicago!

Anna Naomi said...

Hope you have a good time while you're there! We'll miss you while you're gone.