Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | September 27, 2012

From Here to There

Singapore en route to Indonesia

I arrived in Singapore a few hours ago after two long flights separated by an eight-hour layover in Dubai. I have lost track of exactly how many times I have found myself crammed into an Economy Class seat since I started traveling so many years ago. With the exception of the occasional freebie upgrade to Business Class because of my frequent flyer status, all of my travel is in Economy Class with the rest of the world’s budget-minded travelers. But, that’s ok because I believe the journey from here to there is a big part of the adventure. Although I do get weary when I travel, I never get weary of meeting and conversing with people along the way. Besides that, something amusing always happens in the back of the plane — from the person who can’t figure out how to open the lavatory door to the person who has not figured out that the meals are part of the deal! A lot of the funny stuff in life happens along the way from here to there.

When you think about it, life is about getting from here to there. Whether we are traveling from one place to another or trying to figure out how to put food in the pantry, life is about getting from one point to another. And if we are not careful, we can miss a whole lot of life if we focus so intently on where we are going that the journey from here to there becomes a blur. That’s happened to me before on road trips when I concentrated so much on where I was headed and what I was going to do when I got there that I completely missed the sights along the way. It’s almost as though I was driving in a hypnotic trance. I spend a big percentage of my time traveling from home to locations on the other side of the planet. The best way for me to redeem that time is by making the most of every opportunity to enjoy the journey and the interesting people I meet along the way. In 99.9% of the cases, my life will intersect with theirs only once and only for a very brief time.

The late Dr. Rudy Hernandez, one of my mentors, taught me the importance of making the most of those once-in-a-lifetime intersections along the way from here to there. One day when he and I were driving out of the parking lot at DFW airport he told me to encourage the lady working at the pay booth. I replied that I did not have time because there was a line of cars behind us and we would have less than thirty-seconds. When we stopped to pay, he leaned over and said, “Young lady, has anyone today told you how much God loves you?” Her eyes widened as she replied, “No sir.” Dr. Rudy said, “Then, let me be the first.” Dr. Rudy taught me that there is always time to be kind to others and to encourage them when we are en route from here to there.

Stephen Grellet (1773-1855), a prominent Quaker missionary, probably said it best: “I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” That’s great advice for each of us to heed because we are all on a journey from here to there. And the truth of the matter is that, in most cases, we “shall pass this way but once” and never again come in contact with those we meet along the way. So, make the most of every opportunity to enjoy the journey and to be kind to those you meet along the way as you go from here to there.


Responses

  1. Your travels make my head spin.  I am breathless.  I pray God give you strength, health and safety. Clara McSpadden.  

    ________________________________

    • Thanks for your prayers, Clara. Sometimes my head spins too as my jet lag from one trip overlaps with jet lag from another 😉

  2. Dear Omar:
    Some day, in the future, when we are all in heaven, I want you to introduce me to this “Rudy Hernandez” fellow. I have now heard so much about him that I want to see him face to face then get to know him better. I will continue to pray for you and look forward to hearing your message in a few weeks. I know God will use you in a mighty way in Indonesia and when you return. Your brother for here and eternity, from here to there. Jeff

    • You have a deal, Jeff! Thanks for your prayers, encouragement, and friendship.

  3. Great reminder Omar of the world. I’m going to miss you and your family. I’m glad you have a blog:)

    • Thank you, Christy of the Nile and of the Nations 😉 I am going to miss the Kennedy bunch but hope to one day add North Carolina to my list of places traveled!

  4. Peace be with you, Omar. You bless me everytime I read your blog. Praying for you, brother. 😮

    • Thanks, Sterling. I appreciate your kind and encouraging words and your prayers. I am also praying for each of you who will venture to Bangladesh soon. Thanks for going beyond!


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