All Aboard for the Middle East

Location: On the Tarmac at O’Hare

Of course, I didn’t prepare for this trip nearly as well as I could or should have. That’s the story of my life — too much activity in too little time. So, I imagined staying up late getting everything done that I wanted / needed to do, then sleeping on the plane. Of course, this didn’t consider that Faith might want to be the focus of my last night with the family before being gone for nearly two weeks. What was I thinking?

So, there was some packing last night, including trying to stuff John in the right suitcase to come with me. I love some of these pictures. But eventually, I just let the activity go, and hung out with the family and went to bed early with Faith.

This morning was, therefore, an early morning. I switched on the “out of office” messages, and went to town finishing prep for the trip. As is my habit, I read through all the literature (some of it for the same time – ugh!), I had bills to pay, things to pack, messes to clean up so that Faith wasn’t left with them, and so on. But of course, in the middle of all that was breakfast with my family and taking John to school. Faith and I took him together, then went shopping, and dropped supplies off at Sara’s – a colleague and friend who is helping make a BI Roundtable happen next week in my absence.

Because Faith and John were planning to head to my parents’ place for the weekend after dropping me off at the airport this afternoon, Faith had her own packing to do after we got home. It pretty much took every minute we had to get everything together, but we left right on time for the airport.

I have to say that by the time we got in the car, my excitement for the trip was beginning to turn to anxiety. What was I thinking to go on a trip like this without Faith? Why didn’t I spend more time in Scripture and prayer preparing for the trip? Am I going to feel totally alone going by myself? Of course, Faith was very encouraging, and the second I got in line at the terminal and started striking up conversations with total strangers, I was fine. Go figure.

Faith and John dropped me off at O’Hare about 2.5 hours in advance of my flight, and headed south to my parents. As I type this, I imagine they’re finishing up their Legion fish sandwiches and getting ready for bed. I chatted with total strangers, got a head start on Mediterranean food, breezed through security, bought some additional snacks (at double the price I would have paid for them if I was a better planner-ahead-er), and sat down at the gate amongst a whole host of total strangers many of whom also attend Harvest. But of course, this didn’t last long, because … well … I got my dad’s genes in this regard. I had a few brief conversations, called Faith and my folks, made a quick call for work, and then boarded the flight. Phone off, “Flight attendants, prepare doors for departure.”

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About Jeff Block

Lover and follower of Christ. Husband and father. Writer and seminary student. On a long journey, learning to swim with the current of God's love and walk with Him in the garden in the cool of the day.
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