Friday, February 08, 2008

Minnesota, part 1

I hope you have been having a great week!
As I write this I am sitting in the airport in Rochester, MN waiting for my flight to Chicago. No internet here, but I can compose in Word and post later, and so I shall.
My time with the MOPS groups here was wonderful, though it got off to a slow start. Allow me to exlain.
I flew into Chicago and then on to Rochester Tuesday. The plan was to meet a group of women in Winona from the Tuesday night MOPS group at 4:30 and go out for dinner. I was supposed to meet the sound guy at the church at 6:00. I think the meeting was supposed to begin at 6:30.
That was the plan.
Our plan.
That isn’t what happened.
I boarded the plane in Chicago and as we sat at the gate anticipating take-off, the captain announced we needed to wait for a crew member who was due to land in 20 minutes. They figured he would need 10 minutes to get onto our plane and we should be on our way in half an hour. He thanked us for our patience.
In about half an hour that crew member boarded the plane, just as they had expected. However, in that half hour the amount of precipitation in the air had increased and now the plane had to be de-iced. The captain said the de-icing truck should get to us in 10-15 minutes and we would be able to take off shortly after they sprayed us down. He again thanked us for our patience.
Sometime later the captain announced he was placing another call to find out where that de-icing truck was, and assured us we would be on our way “soon.” By now we were an hour behind schedule and I was looking at my watch, wondering how close we could cut it and still be able to make it to Winona on time.
I was praying, Lord, I know none of this delay is a surprise to You. I know You are in control and You will work all these details out. Please, Lord, please let me get to Winona to speak for those moms tonight!
I could see how this delay was a growth opportunity for me. I am such a time-oriented person (Drives my hubby nuts, makes my dad proud. Guess who I learned it from!) and I do not like to be late for anything. I especially do not like to make other people wait for me. But as I sat at gate G16 I knew no amount of worrying or fret on my part would change the time I got to Winona. I was completely powerless to affect my situation. The only reasonable thing for me to do was to trust God and pray. And so I did.
In spite of my resolve to trust God, I did get a little tired of hearing the captain thank us for our patience. To be perfectly honest, I was not feeling very patient. Anxious is probably a more accurate description of my disposition. Yes, if it is possible to be both anxious and trusting at the same time, that is what I was doing.
The de-icing truck did eventually make it over to us, and after sitting in the gate for two hours, we made our way to the runway. Where we sat for another half hour. We were originally scheduled to take off at 1:35, but when we were finally in the air I looked at my watch to see that it was 4:45.
Nope. I wasn’t going to make it to dinner with the ladies.
I knew I wouldn’t be meeting the sound guy at 6:00.
I really hoped I would make it for the meeting.

Lord, please get me there on time. Please let me speak for these women tonight.

The flight to Rochester was pleasant. I was seated next to an American Airlines pilot and enjoyed conversation with him. I had spoken with the woman who was going to meet me at the airport and knew she was going to be in touch with the ladies in Winona.
It would all work out. It had to.
Still, I could not resist the urge to check my watch every few minutes, calculate the time it would take to land, find Kati, get my luggage, and drive to Winona. I wondered if I completely missed the meeting, would the women come to the Wednesday morning meeting? Or maybe they could all stay a little later Tuesday night. We could do that, couldn’t we? I continued to offer up anxious prayers, willing myself to be calm and trust that God could handle the timing. After all, I reminded myself, none of this situation was a surprise to Him.
As we approached Rochester, the captain informed us our headwind had not been as intense as they’d expected so we had made pretty good time. He also said we were going to be able to land at a particularly convenient gate, which should shave a minute or two off our arrival time. I just smiled and thanked God. I was almost on the ground and was glad this "adventure" was nearly over so I could get to Winona and speak for those women.
Once in the airport, Kati and I found each other quickly. My luggage was almost the first to come out on the carousel, so I snatched it up and we left. Kati told me she was going to take me to the home of the woman with whom I would be spending Tuesday night so I could change my clothes, and then Jessica would be taking me to the church to speak.
Things were definitely looking up. I was relieved to be on the ground and on my way to Winona. I was glad to be over the obstacles which had delayed my arrival. I was in for another surprise.
Kati and I were following the carefully laid out directions to Jessica's house, yet when we got to the end of them we couldn't find her. No problem. That's why we have cell phones, right?
I called Jessica and she said she could see us. We just needed to turn around and we would be at her house momentarily. So Kati pulled into a driveway to make the turn around and...we got stuck in the snow.
I got out and pushed (Hey, after doing those twenty push-ups I thought I could do anything!) to no avail.
Kati tried pushing. Also unsuccessfully.
At this point, all I could do was laugh. Getting stuck in a snow bank just seemed like the perfect ending to this little adventure. It really seemed funny to me. So I laughed.
I called Jessica to come and get me, and Kati called AAA to come and get her.
Surely now, I thought, my adventure is over!

To be continued...

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annie said...

I laughed when you mentioned the repeated thank you's for being patient when you were feeling anything but patient! Maybe he should have just thanked all the passengers for not throwing peanuts toward the front of the plane! I know I would be tempted :)
Things always work out in spite of delays. I think it is great that you didn't allow satan to rob your joy. You laughed. What a wonderful example.

Karen said...

I was gripped reading every sentence, knowing how I would feel, how time oriented I am too...knowing that God was having different plans...I got more and more filled with anticipation, how would this story end. "To be continued", aaahhh...I am in suspense Karen!

StaceyStace said...

Trusting and feeling anxious at the same time? I can so relate to that!

Happyhome said...

Aaah...more lessons in trusting and patience. Can't wait to hear how the rest of the story goes. Praying for you!

Shawna said...

Oh no. I get all stressed out when I know others are waiting on me. Gosh, those times are really hard for me. Your patience was really being tested!