The airplane seat

I’ve said it before and I will say it again; sometimes this blog is for confession.  So I will confess away!  I’ve been traveling by plane a lot lately.  Sometimes I get the privilege of sitting next to someone who I can talk with but usually people I find aren’t chatty and so I put my earbuds in and don’t care where they live or where they are headed.  I revel in the peace and quiet and me time.

This past week I got to go on a business trip with Scott.  I know that  sounds boring except that it was to Vegas so … I went.  Since it was a last minute decision I was booked on a different flight there and back.  I rarely get to travel alone so I tried to enjoy every minute of it.   On my way home I had my earbuds in the whole time even during my layover in Denver.  I love music so I loved the perspective I got walking through the airport watching people with meaningful music playing.  Songs like Come Undone by Duran Duran and Keep Breathing by Ingrid Michaelson.  Details in the Fabric by Jason Mraz and Blue Ocean Floor by Timberlake.   I will wait for you to find those on Spotify and play them to get into the same mood as I was just before I boarded my last flight home.  Ok, ready?

We rarely pay for seat selection.  It’s like $50 and I don’t have to have extra room so usually I don’t mind where I sit.  I tend to be assigned a seat over the wing so I can’t enjoy the view or in a row that I can’t recline but this time I was lucky enough to have the first row aisle seat (not first class).  I didn’t have carry on or luggage to pick up in Detroit since Scott took my bags on his flight so I was a free bird.  I was in the last boarding group and sat contently at my gate to waltz on last and take my coveted seat.  I pass the first class passengers and feeling no envy since I had a great seat awaiting me.  I walk up to 7C and to my horror find a five year old girl buckled and settled in 7C!  I stand there and her mother is in the middle seat next to her and sweetly asks if this is my seat.  Now remember I have my earbuds in and have a ‘I don’t care’ look on my face.  She says I could either sit in her seat in 10C or sit next to her daughter.  Wait! WTF? (what the frig is what you know I thought because I don’t swear)  I gave her a disgusted look and said nothing. I don’t remember but I may have rolled my eyes too.   I sauntered to my ‘third class’ seat and hated that she yanked the waltz right out of my step.  I didn’t look around much.  What I really wanted was to gain the approval for my behavior from every other passenger who also witnessed the injustice here.  The mother then had the gall to hand me a Starbucks card as a peace offering and said something like she does this all the time.  I either refused to hear a thank you or she didn’t offer me one but I dismissed the card like it was garbage.  I wanted to stand up and yell to everyone around me, ‘are you seeing this?  The nerve of this woman  to take my seat and play the ‘kid sympathy’ card.  ‘Unless that Starbucks card is worth $50 no thank you!!’  Yes, I wanted to yell that out.  I did not.  Instead I sulked and plotted what I would say to her as I disembarked this injustice flight. I texted Scott my idea and he texted two words, Love Does.  He was referring to a great book by Bob Goff and it’s our code to each other when we challenge each other to take the high road.  Advice not heeded.  Challenge unaccepted.  Not today.   Yes, that lead to my brush with daring and quite rude encounter with the chipper lady with her two children and no help husband.  I told her that I fly with kids all the time and I’ve never asked someone to take a worse seat and brushed by.  She said how rude and the husband sarcastically called after me with a ‘have a nice day!’.  Trust me I wanted to turn around and tell her that I would have if I was given the option to give up my seat.  That I paid for that seat and that they don’t know me.  They were in the wrong here not me!  I didn’t have to see them at the luggage pick up area.  I hurried my step and felt like an idiot.  What did that just do?  Whether I was wronged or not now my reputation is tarnished.  Even more so because anyone who reads this knows how selfish I acted.

The whole point to this is since that moment 48 hours ago, I still feel horrible.  We are coming up to Thanksgiving and I should have love and thankfulness in my heart.  The bitterness has kept me up and after 20 more scenarios that have played in my mind I finally, yes finally, gave it to God.  Why it took that long I will never know.  I had my bible in my purse and was going to do my bible study on the plane.  How wrong would that have been?  But on this Monday morning I do open my bible and I’m confronted with John 6 where Jesus is saddened by the followers that fall away and can’t take the heat of controversy that surrounds following Him.  I am a follower and did not win anyone over with how I acted two days ago.  But God is forgiving and loving and faithful.  I hear Him say to me this morning, ‘Come!’  With every new day He lavishes new mercies on me.  That’s where I see justice in this little episode of my life.   I don’t deserve it!  Nope!  Not this big baby, but he still says ‘Come!’.  It’s a crazy week but I’m getting on another plane in about 24 hours from now.  Flying to see my daughter at bible school.  The same place I wrestled as a teen with what it means to follow Jesus.  I knew I was imperfect then and still imperfect today but God gives me new opportunities to serve Him, share Him and worship Him.  So, that’s what I’m thankful for this year.  I’m praying for just the right airplane seat 5 times in 7 days.  Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, It is well with my soul and my new favorite, Thy Will will be my travel playlist this week.  Now go to Spotify and play those beautiful tunes and rejoice.