School is in session.
I am sitting in the airport in Milwaukee waiting to board the first of three flights I will take to get to La Ceiba, Honduras. This will be the third such trip in as many years. Each of those trips I have tried with moderate success to write a blog of sorts for my family and friends to follow along with our adventures. I have done my best to share what I have observed and learned in relation to God's Story - the good news of the Gospel. I have tried to interpret things through that lens versus just that of a tourist. Sometimes successful and other times not so much, my selfish prideful self seems to get in the way a lot and then I can want to provide commentary based on my comfort or preconceived notions of how things would or should happen. We were scheduled to leave Friday January 16th at unsympathetic hour of 5:00am. Our first flight would dump us in Houston, TX. Which for the record is the birthplace of my traveling companion and lovely wife, and I know this because she has reminded me of this fact daily for the last few months. "We are going back to Texas! That is where I was born and I have not been back!" The excitement was akin to a eager child on Christmas morning, not annoying, more endearing than anything. After a very brief layover we would hop on the bird that would take us to Honduras. That was the plan. The plan that I had rehearsed over in my mind for weeks. It is at this point that God chose to step firmly on the brakes and mentally send me back to my school desk. As we were getting ready to walk out the door last night and head for the airport, I checked my phone and found a notice informing me that my flight to Houston had been delayed at least and hour and a half. This signaled trouble since our layover in TX was less than an hour. A call to United confirmed my fears that we would not make the second flight and that we would not be making it to Honduras on Friday after all. Jeremiah says, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11 ESV) As I said, I usually recount the lessons I have learned when I arrive in Honduras, but God was quietly reminding me that the lessons don't start when I arrive, but He is always teaching me. I have been preparing for weeks to teach the leadership of the church. We're working with a wonderful curriculum called The Story. It is a class about knowing, living, and sharing God's Story. Application of the class is that we be aware that we are but supporting actors in His story and that He is the star and the director. As I stood in the shower this morning processing all the changes to the plans I had made, which include a different airline, an overnight stay in Chicago, an extra flight through Miami, and an arrival 24 hours later than I anticipated. A smile crept across my lips as it dawned on me that my lessons had begun, but I had not even left my house! In light of His story and my small role, I was reminded that God is in control, He doesn't need me or my feeble attempts to help my brothers and sisters in Honduras. Whether I make it or not, His purpose will be fulfilled, His name will be Glorified and yet He lets me play a part. Thank you, Father, for that reminder, and if delaying us a day was for me to learn that lesson, I am better for it. This class is never dismissed. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones." (Proverbs 3:5-8 ESV)