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Please Standby

Writing is my career, but working for an airline is my business. The great thing about working for an airline is that I get free flights. The bad thing about working for an airline is that I fly standby. Which completely changed my plans for the weekend.

See, my hubby and I were going to fly to Phoenix to spend the weekend with his brother, but we didn’t get on the flight Friday afternoon. There was only one seat open. It was a real bummer, but I’d known it was risk, so I’d prayed. But I'd prayed, “Lord, your will be done,” and guess what. God wanted us to stay in Boise.

Saturday morning we ended up on a memorial hike for a 14-year-old kid who died in a cabin fire. It was heart-breaking when the boy’s mom lead us in a moment of silence. And it was also a reminder that our whole lives are lived on standby. We can make plans, but it’s up to God whether we get to live out those plans. This could be terrifying, or it could be freeing.

If you believe God knows all and has our best intentions at heart, then it’s okay when our own plans don’t work out. We aren’t entitled to getting our way. Each time we get what we desire, it’s a gift.

I contemplated this at the foot of the cross on Tablerock Plateau where we released our balloons to float away, and I realized that if it weren’t for flying standby, I really wouldn’t be going anywhere. I would be safe at home. And I'd be missing out on all this Elvis music that I’m rocking out to on the floor of the Memphis airport as I write this.

I eventually made it to Phoenix. (Note photo of my lone little suitcase waiting below the plane and imagine the joy of overhearing the agent at the ticket counter say into his radio, “Load the Strong suitcase.”)

Jim’s brother picked me up at the airport, and as I shared my perspective on living life in standby, he shared about his journey from finding out he had stage 4 cancer in his lungs to receiving a clean bill of health last weekend. His life was literally in standby. And God gave him a miracle.

None of us know how long we have. We don’t know what the future holds. We don’t know if our cabin is going to burn down or if the new cancer treatments will even work with our body type. But I just want to encourage you to make the most of the opportunities you do have. It’s worth the risk. And with that, I’m going to go take a picture in front of a guitar. Because taking silly selfies is kind of my business too.

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