by PASTOR RON AULBACH
BridgeWay Community Church
You ever notice how air travel brings out the best in people? I used to be that road warrior, and my job took me on trains, planes and automobiles every week. I loved it—thrived on it, actually. Today, I wonder how I even tolerated it. Recently I caught one of those $79 deals and all the modern amenities that go with air travel these days. Everything started out fine. Security, no problem. Forecast, clear blue skies. Plane, spacious and less than half full. The flight crew was even accommodating and cheerful as if we were going on this journey together, minus of course the bag of peanuts, as that is far too much to ask these days.
I was fortunate to have an aisle seat, and as I stuffed my bag under the chair in front of me, I met that person. The voice said sternly, and with a deep sense of conviction, “Watch it, I could have slammed my bag into your head.” I was stunned as I looked up to see a sweet elderly woman and her red purse. I quickly apologized and made light of the fact that I would have deserved it. I mean, everyone needs a whack in the head from time to time, and I clearly had infringed on the “no fly zone” of the aisle in her opinion. I sat there for the duration of the flight thinking, would she really have done it? The fact that she said it meant that she was clearly capable. It started to gnaw at me, to think that someone could be that cruel, that brutal. How would I have responded? Who was in the wrong here, me or this sweet old lady from Pasadena?
The Bible says, “In humility consider others better than yourselves,” (Philippians 2:3). Then it hit me: don’t become that person. Be humble. Don’t be that person who compares or seeks justification for their actions. Be considerate. Don’t be that person who needs revenge or even the slightest bit of satisfaction from being “right.” Think of others better than yourself. Don’t be that person. We need to love people more and need them less, resisting the need for someone’s approval, acceptance or even their choices to match our desires. Simply love God and the people he surrounds you with every day… and every flight.