Finding Reason in a Missed Flight - Trans World Radio Canada

Journey to Hope

TWR Canada past-president Ray Alary blogged every Thursday, telling behind-the-scenes stories and ministry updates you won't find anywhere else.  You can still access his stories and read about his time as a missionary with TWR. 
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  • Jun14Thu

    Finding Reason in a Missed Flight

    June 14, 2018 By TWR Canada President, Ray Alary
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    I’ve just recently returned from a whirlwind trip to the Ukraine, Vienna, Holland and Norway. These days of travelling brought back many memories, and I thought I would just write about them. This “rant” is about no specific topic, and I don’t have a planned theme. Usually I have a specific point I want to make, but this time we’ll just see where things go!

    The morning I got up in Kiev, Ukraine, I got ready and went for breakfast. I had bad coffee, but at least it tasted like coffee and there must have been some caffeine in it because it did wake me up. I had internet in my room so I brought up the morning’s “Our Daily Bread,” pushed the button and listened to the devotional. I then sat down at the desk and starting writing. I like to write blogs about my trips while I am still travelling or while I am on the plane. That way the memories are still fresh in my mind.

    When we got to the airport, we went through pre-security. Here they scan your bags before you check in. The bags were okay, and we proceeded to get our boarding passes. When I came back to my travelling companions, I learned our flight was delayed. It was then that I started thinking back about how many times I have been delayed over the years. It hasn’t just been once or twice; the number is probably over 100 times and may be closer to 200 times. Many times a delay doesn’t matter as there is often plenty of time to still make the connection. Unfortunately, this day that wasn’t the case; we had a 35-minute connection, and we still had to go through immigration! If we were going to make our flight, it would be a miracle. The plane arrived and we boarded. I thought we might just make it.

    We didn’t, and this is when more memories came back. I remember a day one December when we landed with my family in the Miami airport. Our friend, Joyce, was picking us up and taking us for a brief shopping excursion. We were going to Kenora for Christmas, and Ryan really needed shoes! The flip flops he wore on Bonaire weren’t going to work in the -40 degree winter in Kenora! He only had flip flops so this shopping trip was important.

    Guess what? Our flight was late leaving Bonaire and then getting stuck in a holding pattern in Miami made us even later. Joyce was there waiting. I told them we don’t have time to go shopping. However, arguing with Joyce and Sandy about whether we had time to shop or not was in vain. In their minds, there was plenty of time. We would get those shoes and maybe even fit in some additional shopping. I was nervous before we left the airport, but off we went. We got to the shopping centre, and I rushed everyone to finish quickly. I could see time ticking away. I got everyone back to the car, and it looked like Sandy and Joyce were right; there seemed to be plenty of time. Needless to say, they were giving me a hard time, telling me that we hadn’t needed to be so rushed.

    Then I saw a sea of brake lights; traffic was at a full stop. Suddenly I was right: we shouldn’t have left the airport. We were on a non-refundable flight that couldn’t be changed. If you missed it, that was it; there was no rebooking. I was getting more anxious by the moment. I was stressed, and the ladies were talking in the front seat. Apparently they weren’t so worried. When we got inside the airport, we literally all ran to the plane. Sandy didn’t usually run, but that day she did! When we got to the plane, they were getting ready to close the doors, and I mean they were literally going to close the doors. This was in the days before security was so tight. Today we would not have made it, but thankfully that day we did.

    So back to this trip … When I got off the plane, I had a similar experience. We desperately wanted to make the flight. I ran ahead of my teammate, and when I arrived, the ending was different. They had closed the doors. We would not make the flight. Fortunately, they were able to book us on the next flight. The neat thing about not making this one was that I got to write this rant which I have really enjoyed writing.

    I guess there is a point to this after all. God had a plan for me that day, just like he has for every other day. Sometimes we think that there is no good reason for why things don’t go as we planned, but I have discovered that there is often a lesson to be learned. We just have to look for it.

    P.S.  Since that day at the Miami airport, we always leave extra time to get to the airport. While we have missed many flights since then, it has never again been because we went shopping.

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