With an 8:30am flight to Montana, I knew I needed to be on the road no later than 5:00am in case of traffic delays or parking challenges. The Georgia weather at this time of year can also be unpredictable. But, I felt confident that setting my alarm for 4:00am would give me ample time.
The night before, I used the digital notification to check in for my flight, packed my bags, fueled my vehicle, and laid out my morning necessities before going to bed. My normal morning routine starts at 5:00am and involves a light breakfast, devotion time/prayer/reflection, hydrating with 64 ounces of water, and enjoying a cup of joe, but losing an hour of sleep gets harder the older I get.
I remember glancing at the clock at 11:00pm, and poof! The 4:00am alarm seemed to come in the blink of an eye. I found myself struggling to stay on pace and settled for a shower, a brief devotion, and a quick chug of water before rushing out the door with my coffee. I checked my airline app, and although many flights were canceled or delayed, mine was unaffected (at least for the moment).
Traffic was a breeze, and I arrived in the airport parking lot in record time, so I figured I would capture a quick siesta before heading into the terminal. My phone's alarm notified me that my 10-minute nap was over, so refreshed and ready to tackle the day, I headed into the airport to drop off my luggage. I was extra excited about the flight because I had been notified earlier that I was receiving a complimentary upgrade to first class.
Once I reached the airline's check-in counter, I quickly realized that my plans were about to change. Some time after I'd checked my flight app that morning, my flight had been canceled, and I (along with hundreds of others) was now being rerouted on another overbooked airline through Denver.
While sitting in the terminal, I struck up a conversation with a couple sitting next to me who were also impacted by the flight cancelation. They were visiting family in Georgia for Christmas and trying to get home for their daughter's 16th birthday bash. By the sound of it, they spent a small fortune planning her party, so they were understandably stressed about the possibility of missing the celebration.
When I was finally sitting on the plane, I couldn't help but ponder how the pandemic had changed our lives. But regardless of unpredictable weather or traffic conditions, uncontrollable flight cancelations, or the COVID-19 pandemic, God reminds us that he is in control, and he wants our attention.
"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future," (Jeremiah 29:11).