Jesus came to help us live a full and meaningful life that comes from having a personal relationship with Him (John 10:10).
Our lives should be filled with abundance and purpose. We should make every day count. We should live like we’re thankful for every moment. We should enjoy the journey, and not just endure the trip. We should open our eyes to the joy of today.
Max Lucado tells the story about sitting next to a rather interesting lady as he flew one time. He said, “She was rural and I was urban. She was homey and I was professional. But she could see and I was blind.
“I had a bad attitude. My week had been hectic. The plane was late and overbooked. I had a toothache and had left my medicine. I wanted to sleep, but I had work to do. And now I was sitting next to Gomer Pyle’s mother.
“‘Oooh, boy, look at that one!’ She pointed at the plane ahead of us on the run way. ‘Is this one that big?’
“‘Yes.’ I hoped my brief response would show her that I wasn’t up for chitchat. It didn’t.
“‘I’m hoping to see my boy in Dallas,’ she said. ‘Do you ever go to Dallas? I hope he’s OK. He had a stomach flu last week. He’s got a new dog. I can’t wait to see it. It’s a lab. Big and lovable.’
“She was uncanny,” Lucado continued. “Not only could she add a syllable to every word, she could answer her own questions. As we were taking off, however, she got quiet. For several moments she said nothing. Then she suddenly let out a sound that would have called pigs to dinner.
“‘Ooooooeeeeee, those trees down there look like peat moss!’ People around us stared like I was E.F. Hutton.
“‘What river is that?’ When I told her I didn’t know, she flagged down a stewardess.
“When the drinks came around, I asked for a Coke. She asked for the list. ‘Tell me again? It’s so hard to choose.’ She finally chose.
“When they brought her drink, she exclaimed that she didn’t know apple juice came in cans. And when they brought her a sandwich, she opened the box and proclaimed loud enough for the pilot to hear, ‘Why, they even put mayonnaise in here.’
“When I pulled out my laptop computer, she was enthralled. ‘Now, isn’t that clever!’ And that went on for the entire flight. She didn’t miss a thing. If she wasn’t staring out the window, she was amazed by a magazine.
“If she wasn’t talking, she was ‘oooohing.’ She played with her fan. She turned her light on and off. She toyed with her seat belt. She savored her lunch. When we went through turbulence, I looked over at her to be sure she was all right, and she was grinning. You’d have thought she was riding the Ferris wheel at the county fair!
“It occurred to me about mid-journey, that she was the only person enjoying the trip. The rest of us, the ‘sophisticated,’ were too mature to have fun. And as I was staring at a computer screen, eyes tired, mouth hurting, stressed-out, trying to find a message for stress-filled people, I never noticed that the message was sitting right beside me.
“And I might never have noticed had she not leaned over and said to me at the end of the flight, ‘Son, I may be out of place in saying this, but you’ve worked the entire trip. You need to relax, boy. You need to put that machine up and enjoy the journey.’
Lucado said, “I smiled weakly and mumbled some excuse about needing to get the work done before tomorrow. But she wasn’t listening. She was squeezing her hands together in excitement as we landed.
“‘Wasn’t that a fu-uun trip?’ she asked as we were leaving the plane.
“I didn’t say anything. I just nodded and smiled. Off she walked, bouncing down the concourse as curious as a six-year-old. I watched her as long as I could, then turned to go to my next flight with a lesson learned:
“It does little good to make the trip and miss the journey.”
Are you enduring the trip or enjoying the journey?
[Dr. David L. Chancey is pastor, McDonough Road Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Ga. The church family gathers at 352 McDonough Road, just past the driver’s license office, and invites you to join them for Bible study at 9:45 a.m. and worship at 10:55 a.m. Visit them on the web at www.mcdonoughroad.org and “like” them on Facebook.]