As I sit in the Dallas airport, 25 hours into my version of the airport story from hell, I cannot help but think about the way something as simple as a flat tire on an airplane can put a serious kink a person’s faith. Apparently—and I did not know this—the FAA doesn’t consider Fix-a-Flat a suitable repair for a damaged airplane tire … at least that’s what the kind woman at the American Airlines gate told me when I walked up after seven hours to make suggestions about how we might possibly, “if-it’s-all-the-same-to-you,” move this along.
I’m going with a group to Mexico to do work on water purification, which is neither here nor there, except to draw attention to the competing impulses of a group that both urgently wants to get down to Mexico to do what we’ve been planning to do, while still remaining committed to the prospect of sidestepping the temptation to act like turds. They’re actually doing great, but nobody could blame them if they did spike the sphygmomanometer.
The thing about being stuck in airport is that not only is it exhausting staring at the same patterns in the industrial carpet for hours on end, but the uncertainty can tax even the strongest spiritual constitution. What lies ahead is uncertain, with just enough hope to keep you from wandering away from the gate and down to the bar to lay in liquid stores for the duration. And so you sit—miserable to be where you are, but with not information to provide you with the incentive to go somewhere else.
Which misery sounds like a lot of congregations I know.