Stay Calm and Change Your Focus

Sunday was quite a long day. In fact, it was pretty much a carry over from Saturday evening, which I spent having a blue crab feast with members of my family. It went on until late so I never went to sleep. Around 4 am I had to make my way to the airport to begin my journey to my mission trip in the Dominican Republic The first flight took off just after 6 a.m. and landed in New York around 8:30

My flight from New York to Santiago wasn't scheduled to leave until 1:30 pm. So I had a pretty long wait. I found the charging stations and made it my business to charge ALL of my electronic devices. Finally boarding time came, and I was ready to go. Sadly the plane wasn't. Some malfunctioning sensor kept us grounded for an extra hour. Then after an announcement from the captain that everything was fixed, we pushed back from the gate.

As we taxied to the runway, the day was overcast and the clouds hung low over the city of New York. I felt mixed emotions as we took off. My second missionary journey of my life was now upon me. I'll be honest, I felt both excitement and trepidation at the same time. Excitement-because I was stepping into territory that was yet uncharted (at least for me anyway). The trepidation came simply from me not knowing exactly what to expect when I got there.

The next announcement from the captain included all the usual greetings that airlines do when you begin to take off. But then the captain's voice changed and became more resolute. "I would like for everyone to stay in their seats as we climb, and keep your seat belt fastened it will be pretty bumpy on the way up as we punch through the clouds on the way to 37,000 feet." I fly fairly frequently so a little turbulence doesn't bother me. But a few thousand feet in the air, and the plane began to shake like nothing i had ever really experienced to my recollection. The captain was right. A smooth taxi and take off has now been replaced by the sudden jerks and shakes of a turbulent climb.

I wasn't really concerned about the plane going down because I was on it and I know I haven't completed my assignment here on earth. I was seated at the rear of the plane and feeling that part of the plane move side to side, and feeling the drops over and over again, made me grip the chair in front of me and hold on for dear life LOL. Then, I glanced behind me. The two flight attendants were sitting there calmly reading, and occasionally talking among themselves. I couldn't help but ask, "How long did it take for you to get used to this?" They both laughed and told me to relax we would be fine. I wasn't really worried about our well being. I was talking about the discomfort of all the shaking THAT HIGH UP IN THE AIR. Then the male attendant said to me, "It took a moment to get used to. But sometimes this is what we HAVE TO experience in order to break through the clouds." Then the female attendant chimed in, "But you can relax because in spite of how it feels, this plane was built for this. It was made to bend so it won't break under the pressure." Needless to say her words concerning the plane served quite well as a life lesson.

The turbulence didn't let up for at least 10-15 minutes. So I decided to shift my focus to the movie that was on the screen. Shifting my focus made the bumpy part of the ride more manageable. After a while we had punched through the clouds and the ride was much smoother. I also noticed that it was much brighter up there. The bumpy ascent was difficult, to say the least. But, the key is that I was on the rise. The strength to endure the rough part of the ride came because I stayed calm, listened to wisdom, and I shifted my focus. In your life I encourage you to do the same and before long you will rise above the clouds and land in a new place called destiny. #makeitcount

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