I wrote this several years ago. The journeys since then have had many delays, reroutings, and some delightful arrivals. It’s good to be reminded of this story again.
We got to the airport early. We got a good parking spot. The bag check went well. We got the fast lane for the TSA screening and didn’t have to take off our belts or shoes. We sat at the gate and used the free wifi.
And then I got the message saying our flight was delayed.
We knew the layover in Chicago would be shortened so we shared a sandwich.
The flight was delayed again. And then all the flights to Chicago were cancelled.
The gate agent got us routed through Detroit, three hours from now. We got on the plane. We waited for some maintenance problem. Then we got off the plane.
The same rough weather that had closed Chicago had now closed Detroit.
“We are worth the wait,” was the text from our destination.
An hour later, we got back on the plane and left Fort Wayne. We spent seven hours waiting to leave our own airport. We got to our destination more than five hours later than we had planned.
But the lights were still on. Our friends were still waiting. The hugs were still warm. And all the delays were for our safety.
Since we arrived, we’ve vacated. We’ve talked and slept and run and eaten. I set another personal record for the 10K. I discovered that the hills I had been dreading since signing up for the race were apparently runable. I discovered that I can run in wind, I can run in snow, I can run.
As I sit in the basement writing, listening to the laughing upstairs, I wonder if this is the kingdom of heaven: A journey with hopeful beginnings and unexpected delays, knowing that there is a welcome at the end and conversations all along the way. And when we get there, conversations around a table and hard work that brings delight.