I spent most of my time this past weekend working with and enjoying the company of missionaries at their area fellowships, but something interesting happened on my way from southern California to Knoxville. On United Flight 6552 from Denver to Knoxville, one of those really little planes where you hardly have room to sit without annoying the person next to you, I had been upgraded to first class (compliments of United Airlines). I was comfortably sitting in my first-class seat when a lady with a fairly minor disability boarded and began making a big scene about where she was seated.
I, frankly, just wanted to get to Knoxville, so I gave her my first-class seat and took her seat back in coach. I settled in. There was an empty seat next to me; I thought, This is going to be a great flight! I’ll be able to get some work done and get some rest.
Then I found out that there were not enough oxygen masks on one side of the plane for mothers with lap-held children, so they had to move a mother with her infant and her son to the side of the plane where I was sitting and put me in a seat next to a large man. I wasn’t happy, but what made it even worse was that in five consecutive rows were four infants and three kids under the age of two. I quickly decided it would be a very difficult flight.
As it turned out, I had a ball. I got to hold the babies; I got to play with the kids. I had a twenty-month-old boy named Noah on my lap for most of the flight. We played games on my iPhone. We played I Spy. I so much enjoyed the time.
Noah’s mom’s name was Lindy. I came to find out that Lindy spent time volunteering and actually working for Young Life in Colorado. She loves the Lord, and she goes to a group called MOPS. I had a great time just being with her and helping her. When she got off the plane, she said, “You know, the Lord arranged all that.”
I started out with a first-class seat, gave up two seats, and ended up sitting next to a mom who needed help. Then I spent the weekend with missionaries who work with children all the time, and they began to tell me stories about how God arranges their ministry. It just drove home the point again to me: we’re about kids. We’re about presenting the cross of Jesus Christ to this generation of young people who are just children now.
I’m excited about what we’re doing and about how God taught me that lesson on United Flight 6552.