Thursday, October 24, 2013

"You Suck!"

I'm tucked safely in my bed on the 46th of 47 floors at a fancy hotel in Seattle.  But, earlier today I was sitting on an airplane in Portland, OR waiting to refuel after a failed landing attempt in the incredibly dense Seattle fog.  Prior to that, we sat on the tarmac in Dallas for two hours waiting for a hydrolic-pump-overheating-issue to be resolved.  

So, after our failed attempt to land, and an uncomfortable while, the pilot finally came on to tell us what happened and what the plan was (to fly to the next city to refuel, because we didn't have enough fuel to circle back around).  

Somebody seated a couple of seats behind me in the back of the plane yelled "You Suck!" to the pilot in the cockpit, a plane length and one room away. 

The sweet lady sitting next to me joked about how we were going to be compensated for the delay.  Drinks? Pretzels?  Better chairs?

I was personally feeling very grateful and pretty sure that the pilot did what he had to do to keep us safe.  I'm fairly confident that a four hour delay impacted his schedule the same as ours.

All of this drama got me to thinking about God and the crap we give Him.  All He wants is for us to land safely (in Heaven). That is the most important thing.  That is the only thing.  

In order to save us, sometimes our plan has to be changed.  We have to be "up in the air", longer than we planned.  Or waiting, longer than we planned.  Or whatever, longer than we planned.  We have to suffer a little inconvenience for the sake of eternity.  And yes, it is little.  Everything is, compared with eternity.

The "You Suck!" admonition came loud and clear.  It wasn't his anger that surprised me, but his total lack of gratitude.  

And that's what makes or breaks us, forever.  We have been given the gift of eternal life, through Jesus Christ, if we choose to accept it.  It is impossible to accept this gift with ingratitude, because ingratitude toward the Giver is a rejection of the gift.  If, in the end, we refuse The Gift and say "You Suck!" instead of "Thank You!", we must accept what we have chosen instead.

Thank you, God, for arriving safely in Seattle today.  Thank you for our pilot and guardian angels who rarely get credit for their work.  Please give me the grace to never reject the gift You've given in Your Son, even for a moment.  Thank you for the little reminder about gratitude and the paramount importance it should have in the life of a Christian.  Please bless the "You Suck!" guy.  He needs an extra dose of Your Love and Gratitude, as we all do.  I offer this post (and the effort it took to type this blog with my index finger on my phone) for his conversion.  Thank you for my friend who is treating me to this adventurous weekend, and for my husband who agreed to it.  Please bless this weekend, my family, and all who read what has been written here.  Amen.


  1. He lets us choose negative or positive. You and fellow passenger had a choice he chose negative. You didn't. He is most pleased with you when you are pleased with him

  2. I love how God uses the negative as impetus for the positive. If it weren't for that guy, I wouldn't have thought about gratitude at all. Thanks for your comment!

  3. I like the new Pope. Your thoughts???

    1. I LOVE the new Pope! The picture of him hugging the man with the tumors symbolizes two of the things I love the most. His love and accessibility. Many of the things Henri Nouwen writes In the Name of Jesus remind me of him: "If there is any hope for the Church in the future, it will be hope for a poor church in which its leaders are willing to be led." "The leaders of the future will be those who dare to claim their irrevelance in the contemporary world as a divine vocation. That allows them to enter into a deep solidarity with the anguish underlying all the glitter of success, and to bring the light of Jesus there."