It's fair to say I spend an inordinate amount of time on airplanes - in 2014, I "enjoyed" a mere 89 flights. So, I plan my time in the air as strategically as I do my time on the ground. Some of my best use of "air" time is spent reading, journaling, writing (I'm actually on a flight while I write this) and (my favorite) writing personal handwritten notes. Thank yous. Scripture and prayer notes. Notes of encouragement.
I realize there are more "efficient" ways to communicate thoughts of blessings to those whom I write, but for me a handwritten note is an old habit too hard to break, not to mention, hopefully, a refreshing respite to receive in the e-media crammed life we live. And, you never really know what kind of day the recipient of such a note is having. I trust God's timing to be impeccable.
To point, during a recent 30,000 foot note-writing session a flight attendant approached me and asked, "Do I get a handwritten note?!"
Her request surprised me, and to be honest I was a little uncomfortable, since I didn't know her. I take very seriously intentional steps of accountability when I travel alone (no one is above failure), so I quickly ran through my mental grid of checkpoints before I answered.
"Well Sure!" I said, not yet knowing what I would write to her in the note.
Often, God seems to give me a life phrase to hold onto during certain seasons of my journey with Him, so the current such phrase came to mind, and I wrote the few simple words on a note, sealed it in an envelope and wrote the flight attendant's name on it to hand to her as I left the plane.
I will probably never see Tammy again. Even as often as I fly I very rarely see the same flight attendant more than once. And, I have no idea how open she was to the content of the note. I prayed she would take it fully to heart, and that it would be just at the right time for her. I'll have to leave that to the Lord. I'm off to another flight!
Oh, here you go--God is for you, more than you can possibly imagine! Romans 8:26-39.
Joe Loughlin is the director of Connections for Texas Baptists. He works to connect our churches and pastors with resources to better serve them.