Saturday I posted the following image to my Instagram account and commented concerning my hatred of the process of flying.
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I cannot adequately express how much I despise the process of flying and the "security theater" that is the TSA. C.S. Lewis described hell (or purgatory depending upon your reading) in the Great Divorce as a place where people are constantly moving from one abode to another (each time further away from others). If he were writing it today I would suggest an airport being his description of the place of eternal torment. Good News is that Rob Miller and some other wonderful "threads" are filling in for me tomorrow at @sptapestry . Bad News is that I have 5 hours worth of layovers. Argh!
I meant it at the time and I still mean it, but I left one part out. I love hanging out with people I love and therefore sometimes the airport becomes a wonderful place when it enables me to hang out with those I love.
Two examples, the first is our family trip to France last year. As much as I gripe and complain about the process of flying (and again I meant what I posted above) I really enjoy being with my family while we rush through airports to get from one gate to another and then waiting for the flight. Last year standing in a crowded area around a gate while we waited for an hour for our plane to load and eating a ham & cheese sandwich with Pam and the boys was one of my favorite memories from the entire trip, and that is saying something because it was a magnificent trip. There was just something about being in it together, laughing through it all, and discovering that French airport concession ham & cheese sandwiches are still pretty awesome that was great. Can’t you just sense the excitement in this photo? 🙂
Also our extremely brief visit to Iceland (i.e. running through the airport was also a blast. Here is the only picture I have of us in Iceland. Can’t you sense our adventurous spirits from this photo? Iceland was wonderful. I hope to wait there in the airport with my family again some day. 🙂
My second example is the people that I get to chaplain with in Corporate Chaplains of America. I am taking a bit of a break at the moment because I am about “peopled out” but I will soon finish this post and start talking with and listen to my coworkers and friends again. As a matter of fact, one of my coworkers just sat beside me and I stopped writing this post for awhile because we both realized we had not talked with each other much during our training this break and we wanted to find out how each other is doing. Being stuck in an airport with them, even one that only has seven gates (hello Ashville Regional Airport) is an enjoyable experience. There is almost always an interesting story to while away the time (seriously one of my coworkers was a chaplain for the Cleveland Cavaliers when Lebron played for them the second time). The process of flying may be a good example of eternal judgment but the waiting within the process can be very enjoyable when the right people are a part of it.
These are some of the people that I am presently waiting with (this was before we were stuck in the “massive” Ashville Regional Airport with all its luxury). They are a good group to spend a couple of hours with while you participate within the dehumanizing process known as commercial air transportation.
I am so thankful for the family and friends I have that make terrible experiences often pleasurable.