I have been on quite the unlucky streak when it come to travel the last couple of years. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am extremely fortunate to have visited Cuba, Brazil, and a few other places the last couple of years, so I have no complaints. However, the actual has not gone exactly as planned. Here are a few examples.
Cuba – July 2011
A team from Believing in a Better Way was invited to lead a pastoral conference. Which is fantastic. All is well until the Miami Airport. At 3:30am, the airline has no idea who we are and no tickets for us. After much scrambling, they literally see our tickets sitting on their counter like a stack of junk mail. Whoo! What a relief! Wait a minute…when are you flying back? There is no return flight for our charter, and we are informed we must straighten that out IN CUBA. That is a little unnerving, but on faith we go. Once we arrive, we are in limbo. On the last day of the conference we get a call in our hotel room from the Cuban government. They tell us we have about 30 minutes to get to the airport. It was crazy. We gathered our things and hurried, except for a couple of my buddies who decided to souvenir shop at that moment. But that is another post.
We land in Miami. No flights home. Hop in a cab to Ft. Lauderdale. Stay the night under some benches in the airport. FYI, they never turn the lights out in Fort Lauderdale airport.
Cuba #2 – July 2011
On the same trip, I was selected to be questioned at the airport. Going into the nation of Cuba, I was detained for all the shady characters traveling with me. This was not on the agenda. But a tiny room, single light bulb, and cavity search later, we made it into the country.
Cruise Vacation – July 2011
Jennifer and I have been saving our points on a credit card for about 9 years. Finally we have enough points for a Caribbean cruise! We are sitting on the plane, and sitting, and sitting. After about an hour, we are informed mechanical issues have kept us in Tulsa. Now there are no flights to get to the port on time. No cruise for us.
Boston Training – January 2012
I scheduled fantastic flights…..for the wrong weekend! Then on the way home, we were caught by snowstorms and had to spend the night in Georgia.
Brazil – June 2012
We visited the nation of Brazil on an incredible missions trip. We worked with schools, orphanages, and even young professionals. Absolutely great until our flight home. We are redirected to Atlanta instead of Detroit. This was disappointing because several of us needed to visit Michigan for our Bucket Lists. Oh well, at least we will get home 7 hours earlier. No sir! Our Atlanta flight is delayed, then delayed again, then cancelled. I scrambled from counter to counter. First getting on the people who have to work on flights home, then all the minors, the the rest of us.
American History Tour – July 2013
Last weekend, my wife and I were celebrating our 10 year anniversary by visiting Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC. We were to leave at 6am Friday. 8pm Thursday Delta calls and our flight is cancelled.
All of this teaches me a lesson. I am not in control.
There are so many things beyond my control that can completely alter my plans. They can even alter my life. I would do well to worry less. I would do well to see the big picture. So many of our fears and anxieties are because we have a false sense of control. In all of these situations, it worked out. It wasn’t as I planned but it was fine. All my fretting and worrying in each situation did me no good.
Yesterday I posted Be Still. All these travel troubles show me that truth.