40 Days of Prayer: Day 31
Our daughter and I participated in a week long mission trip in La Ceiba, Honduras during the summer of 2014. We were both excited about the trip. The small team that we were a part of prepared for months before we headed down there. It was my second trip out of the United States and her first.
I had flown on about eighteen different planes before we woke up early on the morning of our trip to drive the two and a half hours to the Jacksonville airport. I enjoy flying, especially taking off. There’s a moment when the pilot rams it home and the plane really starts moving down the run way. You can feel the power of the engines and hear the quickening thud of the pavement against the tires. Then the plane lifts off, and for a few seconds there is nothing. It’s almost like floating. I really like that part.
Our daughter had never flown before. Naturally, she felt a little anxious about the whole thing. Being the good father that I am, I tried to prepare her for what was to come. I began by explaining airport security. “After we check our big bags,” I told her as we drove, “we will go through security. We will place our carry-on bags on a conveyer belt. Then we will place our shoes…”
“We’ll have to take our shoes off?” she asked.
“Yes,” I said, not missing a beat. “We will place our shoes, belts, wallets, keys, watches, anything metal in a bucket on the same conveyer belt. Also, we will have to take out the small mesh bag of toiletries and place that on the bag for them to see.”
“Okay,” she said a little nervously.
“Oh, I almost forgot. They may select you to be randomly checked or to walk in a small plexiglass surrounded area. If that happens, it’s okay. A machine will shoot air on different parts of your body. It won’t hurt. It’s just checking for explosives.”
Her response was not audible. Little did I know but she was becoming more and more terrified with every “helpful” precaution I was giving her. By the time we pulled into the car lot to check my truck in for its week long stay, she was sick. Apparently, my pep talk needed some Pepto-Bismol to go with it.
She was seriously doubting her ability to go through with the trip as we boarded the shuttle that would drop us at our airline’s counter. The rest of the team comforted her as I tried to limit the damage by keeping quiet. Soon we were wheeling our carry-ons with our passport wallets around our necks headed to the security checkpoint.
As we approached the conveyer belt, I turned around to see her reading a sign. I said, “Don’t forget to take your shoes off.”
She said, “The sign says we don’t have to.”
I laughed incredulously and said, “Yeah. I’m pretty sure we do.”
She replied, “Look,” and pointed at it.
I read the sign. Sure enough, it instructed us to not take off our shoes or belts. Do not remove laptops or toiletry bags. Pretty much everything I had warned her about was negated by that aluminum sign. It was the smoothest trip through airport security that I had ever experienced.
What’s the point? The point is that my daughter, at no fault of mine, had really become scared of what might happen. She literally worried herself sick about it, but, in the end, her fear was the worst thing she had to endure. The experience was not as bad as her anticipation of it. She actually loved the flight. Ask her today about flying and she will tell you that she wants to do it again as soon as possible.
That’s not always the case. Sometimes our worst fears are realized. More times than not, however, our fears are merely distorted possibilities that rarely come true. So, don’t hide in fear. Don’t let fear keep you from doing what you know God has made you to do.