A Turbulent Flight Home

Yesterday my husband and I were enjoying chatting and having lunch with friends, our last meal together before we left Israel. We sat on the balcony enjoying the sunshine and warmth which had returned after much rain. Our hosts had made a Greek salad with bread and Calamari Pasta. I savoured and had plenty of the delicious food. The meal strengthened us for the journey ahead. We had just finished when the taxi man called to say he was waiting outside. After quick farewells we got the taxi to the TelAviv airport.

We checked the times of flights at Ben Guirion airport. Ours was the only one that showed the flight was delayed. When it came time to board old and young, babies in arms, Arabs, Jews and returning tourists gathered at the Gate for departures. An infant cried the whole time. There were Orthodox Jews on board, some old, feeble, humble men with long white beards and black hats. The attendants welcomed us on board and helped settle mothers with young and the old.

We were allocated our seats at the very back of the EasyJet aeroplane. This economic airline has no frills or extra comforts, but gets you places one could not otherwise afford to go. We didn’t mind because we had an unoccupied seat on the inside giving us space to stretch and have a sleep if need be. We were thankful.

The pilot spoke before our departure and apologised for the delay due to baggage handling back in the UK. He announced the flight time would be five and a half hours, which seemed a lot longer than our flight there. He didn’t tell us about the turbulence on the way over. The pilot has to slow down through turbulence. There were no frills but plenty of spills and thrills ahead of us.

We were strapped in our seats for the first two and a half hours of the trip home! The plane shook and jerked. Mothers and babies were sick. The flight attendants were going up and down the aisle giving out orange plastic bags and cups of water to help the sick.
I was praying as I do when turbulence hits on a journey. But never has it lasted so long.

I thought of the scripture when Jesus was asleep on a pillow at the back of the boat in the storm! Brendan and I were at the back of the aeroplane in a storm. He rebuked the disciples for being fearful and having little faith. Mark 4 v 38 to 40 KJV

And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?

I decided not to be fearful and trust in God. I prayed for many others who were vulnerable. Brendan sang in my ear a song “I feel pretty”. We heard it in the movie we watched one night on Netfix. It’s called Anger Management staring Jack Nicolson. He got his clients to sing a song if they were in a difficult situation. Not only was Brendan singing but he ordered some snacks and a drink from the attendant. He was not fearful but enjoyed a few treats in the storm.

Family Friday. Confusion with Airports and Flights

Brendan and I were visiting our daughter in Edinburgh in July of 2012.   She and her husband had just returned to live in Scotland from Switzerland.  We had flown with Easyjet to Edinburgh from Belfast International Airport.  We were happy to see Ruth and Stuart again after she had settled into her new accomodation.  It was nice to relax and catch up with them.  Brendan needed a longer break so I suggested he stay on for a few days.  

I arranged to pick him up on his return.  I headed off to Belfast International Airport in good time.  In Belfast the traffic was held up.  It was the Twelfth of July and there were Orange Band parades through Belfast.  I had to wait while all the parade passed.  I got anxious that I would be late getting to the airport.  After an impatient delay I eventually was able to be on my way.  I reckoned I would get there on time.

When I arrived in the airport carpark I got a call from Brendan.  He was outside the front entrance waiting for me.  I told him okay,  I was just parking and would meet without further delay.  I walked over to the entrance but Brendan was nowhere to be seen.  I called him on my mobile phone.  He kept explaining he was at the entrance to the airport.  I was perplexed.  He was nowhere to be seen.  I got more exasperated.  He got more annoyed at the other end of the phone.  

Then it dawned on both of us.  I went to the wrong airport to pick him up.  He had arrived into Belfast City Airport on Flybe.  He had changed from  Easyjet to Flybe to get home.  We were both upset with each other.  He suggested he would get the bus home.  I said ” Go ahead. You may get home before I do.”  

I drove off in the car still upset.  After a short time I settled down and called Brendan and said I would pick him up on the way through Belfast.  We decided to forget about the misunderstanding of not going to the right airport.  From then on I make sure I check which airport I am to go to if I have to pick someone up.  Once bitten, twice shy.

We were returning from Canada recently.  We had to get an inland flight from Vancouver to Toronto.  We arrived at the airport in good time to get checked in.  We stood in line at the Westjet desk waiting to check in our baggage.  There were quite a few passengers ahead of us.  When we gave the attendant our tickets she said “I am sorry sir you are flying with Air Canada and pointed us in the direction of the check in desk.”  We had wasted precious time at the wrong desk.  

I asked an attendant could we skip the queue because our flight was leaving soon.  She said,”I’m sorry Madam, the desk is closed.  You are too late to check in.”   We are going to miss this flight and the next connection to Ireland from Toronto!  I ran up to the desk and asked could someone help me.  Thank God a lady helped us.  She opened her desk again and checked our luggage through.  She even gave us a ticket to fast track the security gate.   Phew.  That was a close call.  

We had a very pleasant flight with Air Canada to Toronto.  I was so stressed, I hadn’t realised we had taken off and were airborne.  I was so thankful to God we did not miss the flight home.  God promises me I am under his daily care so I don’t need to fear.

Psalm 71:15. I cannot count the times when you have faithfully rescued me from danger. I will tell everyone how good you are, and of your constant, daily care.

Have You Had a Bad Hair Day?

When travelling I often run out of the shampoo and conditioner that suits me best when at home.  When I travel with Easyjet or Ryanair I am limited to the small amount of liquid that is allowed on carry on luggage.  I am at the mercy of the gifts of shampoo in the hotel room or the shampoo belonging to my hosts or the type of water, whether hard or soft.   I never know what my hair will turn out like.  My hair could turn out curly, wavy, smooth or standing out or up.

I was feeling a bit frustrated last Saturday morning before an event in which Brendan and I were taking part.  Tempers flare easily when one is tired.  My hair looked dull and I was feeling dull.  It was our last meeting after a busy schedule in Slovakia.  I had to encourage myself in The Lord to finish the race.

Afterwards I read this scripture.  

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 
Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (‭1 Peter‬ ‭3‬:‭3-4‬ NIV)

I quieted myself, picked myself up, gathered my bag and coat and waited for our lift.  No more worry about how I looked.  After hours of praying for people, I looked radiant.  The important thing was that Brendan and I worked in unity.  The Lord gave Brendan and me the strength to finish well.