The Blessing of Inconvenience
On Tuesday I left for central Kansas. My journey began with Brad Elness taking me to the Holiday gas station in Duluth. Did I mention he dropped me off at 1:15 in the morning? Thank you, Brad, for helping me get to Kansas; your willingness to drive me at an inconvenient time was a great blessing. I believe every time we inconvenience ourselves for someone else, or because of the variability of life, God provides amazing blessings we would never have experienced. The blessing may not come at the time we want (such as during the inconvenience), but when looking back, we will see the hand of God bringing joy into these situations. There is nothing wrong with feeling frustration during these times. When you decide to go on a mission trip, you need to be prepared to be inconvenienced. I can promise that on any mission trip you take with me, there will be moments of inconvenience. How you process those moments will speak to your level of faith. When you place a portion of your life in someone else’s hands, you need to be prepared for things not to go the way you expect. After Brad dropped me off at Holiday, I hopped on board a shuttle van to travel to the Minneapolis Airport. I wanted to sleep, but the driver (who was very friendly) was someone I believe God wanted me to converse with. So after sleeping for 1 hour, I jumped into the front passenger seat when we made a stop at Hinckley. We chatted and I tried to lean back, eyes slightly closed, but listening intently to his conversation. I asked many questions, just like I always do. As I debarked at the airport, I had an opportunity to share about Christ and invited him to the church. Amazingly, he knew exactly where our church is located. My next test happened as I was boarding my flight from Minneapolis to Chicago. The flight had a large contingency of non-English speaking passengers. It caused a 30 minute delay, which is not much, but when you only have 38 minutes to make your connecting flight, and it’s a 15 minute walk to the next plane, you can do the math! Amazingly, it was like the Red Sea parting as I asked people to let me pass because my next connecting flight was leaving soon. As I speed walked through O’Hare International, I considered running, but the terminal was very crowded. So, I carefully bobbed and weaved through the masses. I could see my gate in the distance and the door was open, but as I navigated through the last 50 yards of bodies (souls) and turned towards the gate, the door was shut. The flight representative said, “I’m sorry, sir, I just shut the door and you will need to find another flight.” He even knew what flight I was coming from, but they could not hold the plane. Fast forward, I worked with ticketing, and she provided me 2 tickets; one guaranteed, and the other was stand-by. Obviously, the stand-by was an earlier flight and no promises of a seat were made. At a minimum, I would be spending 4 additional hours in the Windy City. As I sat and recharged my cell phone, I noticed the man next to me was trying to get the charging port to work. I told him if he used the power outlet with a charging cube it would work. He said he forget to bring one with him. I always carry an extra, so for the next 90 minutes we talked about how a real relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important choice for anyone to make. At the end he thanked me, was very appreciative of our conversation, and went on his way to his connecting flight. Interestingly he has been to the Twin Ports a number of times because he is a salesman for large Industrial precision pumps which are built in Switzerland. If he is ever in the area and has time, he is going to look me up. Thank you God for the inconveniences of life. The time went quickly because I was open to God’s opportunities. My standby became a confirmed seat, and 4 hours later than expected I arrived at my destination. In all things, give thanks!