The Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
He put his blackout mask on, nestled into his neck buddy, and had finally shut up after an ugly tirade upon boarding the aircraft. What I wanted to do was take my sock off and say, “Here, buddy, you forgot to take care of your mouth!”
Our seats were on the last row of the plane, certainly not the most desirable ones, but, hey, it wasn’t the end of the world–at least not for Waylon and me. I wasn’t going to let not being able to recline a bit for four hours spoil my trip.
Unfortunately, our across the aisle neighbor was not likeminded. When he discovered his seat was on the last row, I can’t tell you what he said lest the blog go to spam. It began something like this–“Look at these blankety blank blank blank seats they gave us.” Although his wife tried to shush him, it did no good. He kept right on spewing his profanity and obscenities on all within earshot.
After this harangue went on for several minutes, one of his sons yelled, “Shut up, Dad!” That really set papa off!
Then the other son tried to weigh in on the matter, but since his father seemed to have no propensity nor desire for listening, the young man just stuck his earbuds in and ignored his dad–something I feel that he had been forced to get good at throughout his life. How sad!
After the disgruntled passenger whipped himself into a frenzy of stroke or heart attack intensity, he finally settled down with his mask and neck buddy. That’s when I wanted to offer him my sock.
However, about fifteen minutes into the flight the pilot came over the PA system and said with a slight tremble in his voice, “Ladies and gentlemen, we will be returning to New Orleans. There is something wrong with the integrity of the windshield, and we cannot continue until we go back to the airport and let maintenance take a look at it. Sorry to have to do this to you.”
Well, as you would imagine that announcement set our already over the top neighbor off again! After spewing more venom on all the passengers he lit into the flight attendant. Having been trained not to overreact under pressure she quickly gave him the look–one that let him know he was not ruffling her feathers. But not to be quieted until his complaint was registered, he then decided to go to the top calling the airline’s home office. When the representative did not assure him that a another plane was on its way pronto to take us to our destination, he ranted about that for the next round.
He only took a breath when he was interrupted by another announcement from the cockpit. “Ladies and gentlemen, I don’t think this plane will be going anywhere. The windshield has three sections and the crack which now resembles a spider web is in the main section. This is not a normal occurrence. In all my thirty years of flying I have only seen this one other time. Sit tight and a representative will come aboard shortly and discuss your flight plans.” (I was glad to know that we had a seasoned captain–one who had flown more than a remote controlled airplane).
However, the plan changed having all the passengers deplane instead. We were told that a new windshield was being flown in from Atlanta and after a lengthy installation our departure would be at 1 PM. However, the departure time was soon revised to 2:30. When some of us questioned why another plane could not be flown in to replace the disabled one, our disgruntled friend had the perfect explanation but because we were all sick of him no one wanted to acknowledge he was right.
As I sat in the terminal awaiting our flight I couldn’t help thinking that if the crack had occurred at a higher altitude and further into the flight we would have never made it back to the airport–period.
The words of Psalm 121 kept ringing in my ears.
1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
On that day I had the distinct impression that The Lord had indeed been with us–our coming and our going. I praised Him for His presence and protection while petitioning Him for a safe flight to our destination.
At 2:30 we were told that hopefully we could begin boarding shortly for a 3 PM departure but there would be no food offered on the flight. I chuckled to myself and thought, “Forget the food! I just want to know if the guy who installed the windshield guarantees his work!”
Thank You, God, that You are Emmanuel, our with us God, and El Roi, the God who sees. We know You always have Your eye on us, but some days You make it crystal clear. Today as another new year begins we rejoice in knowing You are watching over our “going and our coming both now and forevermore.” Amen.