So, moving to a new adventure with my wife, Jill, we flew to Hawaii to see our son, daughter- inlaw and new gr ands on. The easiest way to get to Hawaii is to fly (swimm ing not an option). Jill and I love to fly. Not as exciting as driving because you can’t see all the sights and take alternate routes to see the hidden treasures of our nation. Flying, well you see everything from a distance, it’s really, really small looking down from 35,000 feet and the course doesn’t have alternate routes.
We started this trip planning months before we left. We had to check our budget and see what we could spend, check the airlines and find a flight that we could afford and available during the dates we wanted to travel. Then we had to book and pay for the reservation. To travel within the confines of the budget and dates, our trip would have to have connecting flights somewhere.
We ended up making a connecting flight in Los Angeles on our way to Honolulu. We had flown into Los Angeles a couple years ago to attend the Southern Baptist Convention. We should be good….NOT!
I had forgotten that the airport is undergoing some construction, renovating some of its terminals. And of course, one of the terminals under renovation is the one in which we are traveling. Rather than walk from the terminal you arrived at to the one you are going to, you have to leave the plane going out of doors, walk down a set of stairs, through a set of gates and walkways (much resembling the path cattle take to be loaded to a trailer to go to market), back inside the terminal to go to another set of gates leading to a bus that will take you to the terminal you need to catch the next flight. Oh, and the location to catch the bus has multiple terminal locations it travels to so you must make sure you are on the right bus. AND…there are usually a bunch of people going to the same place you are, so catching the first bus is not an option.
You find yourself looking at your ticket, checking the time your next flight leaves and calculate the time you have to get to the terminal to catch the flight, hoping that you will make it on time. It is then you realize that you have only 30 minutes to make said connection, because you had to find a bathroom. You then discover that nearly everyone on the plane you just got off has the same idea, and there is a line to the bathroom!
The second bus arrives, we find a seat, are heading to the designated terminal, arrive and take off for the departure gate, realizing now the gate is at the far end of the terminal. So, off you go as fast as your feet will take you and dodging the mass of people coming at you leaving the terminal.
Whew, we arrived and see people lining up at the gate to board the plane. We ask the girl at the desk what group is loading; group 7. Let’s see…we’re group 5! Great. We get in line and start the move to board the plane (can you say MOOOO!!!).
Finally we get on the plane, find our seats, store our carry-ons and buckle up in our seats. We listen to the announcements from the airline about the seat belt fasteners, oxygen mask dropping down if cabin pressure drops, seats you are sitting on are floatation devices, and how to use the floatation vest should the plane end up in water. And then we are up in the air–Honolulu bound!
That had to be the most stressful hour and fifteen minutes of my life! I tell Jill that I am not flying back through Los Angeles again… ever! There are other choices, other cities to make connecting flights.
This got me to thinking (as it usually does. But, I had 5 hours to kill from Los Angeles to Honolulu). When the day comes that we die or Jesus comes back, we do not have to make any connecting flights. We do have to have a reservation (salvation), but there will not be a log jam at the airport. There will not be any construction, buses, or time crunch we have to deal with. No, the Bible tells me that “absent in the body is present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8), and that 1Thessalonians 4:15-17 tells us that we will be caught up with Him in the air, and we will be with the Lord forever! Now that is the flight I can’t wait to be part of.
Making the Connecting Flights, Bro. Tim P.S. We are going home through Phoenix!