Excited, prayerful, and sleepy, we left early this morning from Russellville, AR, graciously traveling the three hours or so to Memphis on our church’s large bus to catch a flight to Miami. We arrived early. Our jet arrived on time. The flight attendant walked us through all of the mandatory preflight hullabaloo and we gingerly taxied out to the runway for takeoff.
And suddenly for so many in our party, it was real. This was really happening. They were leaving the country. They were actively engaging in a bigger part of the Christian context than they had ever known before. Of our group of twenty more than half had never flown commercially before. There was much excitement and anticipation. Nervous laughter, sarcastic humor, and a palpable giddiness permeated the team. Seat belts went on, bags were stowed, and the engines roared to life with the awesome thrust of engineered wonderment as we hurdled down the runway and lifted from the earth. Everyone survived lift off. I don’t mean that to sound dramatic, but we had more than a few who were genuinely worried regarding their first experience at air travel.
The moment we broke the cloud line, and the cumulus landscape lay before their eyes like a pristine world of angelic ethereal cotton–all was well. We were doing it. We were going. And it was good.