By Shewanda Riley
I admit that I haven’t always adjusted to change well. Sometimes I fight it…and lose; As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned it’s best to go with and not fight against change. Once, I was traveling and learned this important lesson when I had to deal with an unexpected change.
I was at an airport in North Carolina and flying back to DFW. “Great!” I thought as I looked at my watch. “I’m one hour from my boarding time which leaves me plenty of time to go through security and relax before my flight. “I started the fairly easy check-in process when a message I wasn’t expecting flashed on the self-check in kiosk: “Your itinerary has changed. Press continue to view details.”
I hesitated before I pressed “continue” not sure of what the “change” might be. After a few seconds of deliberating, I pressed the screen and viewed with mild irritation my new itinerary. My cancelled flight had been replaced with an afternoon flight for the next day that would have gotten me home nearly 24 hours later.
I blinked hoping that my original itinerary would reappear. When it didn’t, I waited in line and then spoke to the ticket agent in my nicest, non-panicked voice. On the inside, I was screaming, “I’ve got to get back to Dallas tonight!”
The ticket agent smiled at me when I told her my name and she was able to pull up the flights. I smiled back because I was trying to not let the frustration show in my face or voice. Silently, though, I was praying for God to help me. I stood as patiently as I could and prayed that I would get a seat. Just as quickly as I prayed it, she said, “You’re in luck. Another airline has some seats available. Let me call and get you one.”
As she handed me my ticket and directed me to the other airline, she restated that I was lucky. I couldn’t resist turning around and telling her that it wasn’t luck but God’s favor. Even though I was headed home, I’ll admit that I wasn’t too happy about the change. The thought of having to switch terminals to find my car at DFW Airport wasn’t my idea of fun for a Sunday night, but I soon realized it was a blessing in disguise. The new flight left ½ hour later than the original flight, but it got me back to Dallas 1 hour earlier. I had to switch terminals and wait for my checked baggage, but I was still home sooner than the original flight.
It was a mild inconvenience a number of years ago that I have since repeated a number of times when I have traveled. You plan your life only to have things change when you least expect or want them. Do you give God an attitude or do you trust that he knows what’s best? I reminded me of Proverbs 16:9, “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”
Not only with my that trip but also with other areas of my life, I’ve found that going with instead of resisting the change (especially when it comes to God’s plans) is the best way to go!
Shewanda Riley (Aunt Wanda), PhD, is a Fort Worth-based author of “Love Hangover: Moving from Pain to Purpose After a Relationship Ends” and “Writing to the Beat of God’s Heart: A Book of Prayers for Writers.” Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @shewanda. You can also listen to her podcast at www.chocolateauntiepodcast.com.