Posted: January 30, 2009 in About Me, My Faith

I flew down to Florida yesterday. I’m down here to be at a former student of mines wedding. It’s been almost five years since I have been here and it’s cool to reconnect with some people and see how things have changed.

Flying in yesterday was an adventure in itself. After being delayed before I ever got off the ground, I missed my connecting flight in Atlanta by 10 minutes and had to fly standby to try and get on the next flight. After making it to the gate and putting my name on the list, I realized this flight was definitely filled to capacity. The lady at the counter told me it was already a full flight and many people were waiting to get on. I just kindly asked her to do what she could. The lady behind me though had a different attitude and pleaded her case in a rather rude and irritating way in which I wanted to politely slap her (bless her heart). For me, I know how air travel works and there is nothing that can be done to change the status of things, so why fight it? The sad part is, this lady was later reading a “Christian” book and talking with the person she was traveling with about their church and all that was going on. Now as a disclaimer, I don’t know this lady’s spiritual condition and her heart obviously. All I knew was that any normal person that listened to her talk to her friend and saw the book she was reading would guess she’s a professing christian. My only thought as I watched her was if she really believed and lived some of the things that were in the book she was reading, and the things she was talking to her friend about, then why would she make such a scene with the flight attendant?

So I made the flight. With 24 people on the standby list, I was number 4 on the list and was the last person called to get on the plane. Sweet. Super Christian lady didn’t make it. Sorry.

Being on a very full flight and being stuck in the back of the plane is always a fun experience. No biggie, I had my ipod and I can suffer through any flight for an hour and a half. About halfway through the flight, I put the ipod away and was gonna take a snooze. The problem was another lady behind me was a loud talker. You know the type? Where it doesn’t matter what kind of noise there is, you can hear this person over everything. I wasn’t too upset though because I was interested in her conversation. she was sitting next to a man who was a complete stranger to her and they started talking about religion. She was expressing her concern to this man that her teenage daughter is now being influenced by her ex husband. She kept saying the phrase “he got religious” or “when he became religious.” Her issue was that her daughter had to now go to church when she visited her dad and he wouldn’t let her have her ipod at his place because it was filled with “worldly music.” She thought it was the craziest thing and talked about how she can’t wait until this “phase” of her ex husbands life is over. The man she was talking too shared in her sentiments as he went onto share how his in-laws are the exact same way when his kids go to visit them.

As I sat there and listened to this conversation my heart was broken. It was broken for a couple reasons. For one, the fact that to me religion is the furthest thing from my heart when it comes to my walk with God. It’s about my relationship with Him. I have been through a ton in my life. Some great, some very bad. But through it all, my relationship with the Lord as grown so much sweeter and real. It bothered me to hear them talk about my God as just a ritual and not a life. I just sat there and thanked the Lord I saw it different than that. I prayed that He would open there eyes and even use these people in their life to do it. The next thing that saddened me was the parallel between the two women I encountered on this trip. One, which had a terrible attitude and was a “Christian”, another who had a great demeanor and joy about her, who doesn’t even know what it’s like to have an abundant life with our Creator.

As I walked through the airport after my flight, I asked God to help me never be a Christian that takes my relatonship with Him for granted. I know not everyday will be a GREAT day, but at least I can reoice in the One who has it all under control, even when I don’t. I don’t want to be religious.

  1. Amy says:

    Good reminder. Have a safe trip home. Praying for you!

  2. Heather says:

    Whew. I was going to say that I really hate that about the woman and her view on “religion.”

    But then I realized that I kind of feel the same way about religion. I really don’t like the traditional, the “let’s do it this way because it’s always been done this way,” the impersonal and cruel thing that a religious stance becomes.

    You’re right, Dave. I believe in God, not because of any religion, but because he’s personal to me. It’s about my love for him and his love for me … and his love for the people around me. Religion, if anything, is something that I choose to ignore so I can believe in God personally and without limits.

    It’s no wonder lost people look at us and don’t want what we have. They don’t see the relationship. They see the religion. And who wants that? Not the people on the plane. And not me.

  3. […] flying back from a weekend wedding in Florida I was at (see previous post), I had a lot of time to kill in the airport, considering my flight was delayed yet again. […]

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