Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | April 12, 2013

Enjoy The Journey

Houston, Texas en route to Cairo, Egypt

Years ago I learned that the journey to wherever I happen to be going is just as much of an adventure as the destination. I really do enjoy the goings and comings of each trip that I lead. There are always so many interesting people along the way and never a dull moment thanks to things like flight delays, long hours spent in and out of airports, ripping a gaping hole in a shirt (as I did on my last flight to India), and other interesting things that happen along the way. This latest flight from Houston to Dubai has not disappointed.

When we arrived at the airport we learned that our flight would be delayed at least two hours. No problem. Delays are a part of the travel equation. While waiting at our gate, I received email from my friend Andrea. She had read my blog post entitled Cairo’s Garbage People and wrote to tell me that my post had reminded her of a passage from the Psalms: “He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump. He sets them among princes, even the princes of his own people!” (113:7-8). What a timely and encouraging word. Thanks, Andrea!

While waiting to board, I struck up a conversation with one of the airline agents. We chatted about why my friends and I were traveling to Egypt and Jordan. “Only God can put something like that on your heart,” she said. She also asked me about my name (a question I am often asked overseas). I enjoyed telling her the story of how much my grandfather loved the writings of the Persian poet named Omar Khayyám. Although I am named after my Dad, my Dad was named after Omar Khayyám (his name as it appears on his birth certificate). And then she said, “Let me have your ticket. I want to find you a better seat so that you can rest on your journey.” How nice!

When it was finally time to board, I boarded early (one of my mileage perks). The flight attendant standing next to my seat greeted me with a smile and then we immediately struck up a conversation in Spanish. She is from Argentina. Since we only had a few minutes before general boarding, I turned the conversation to the purpose of our trip. She too was pleased to learn about how the people of Kingsland demonstrate God’s love among the least of these. And then she said, “I will check on you throughout the flight to make sure that you are comfortable.” She did!

When we checked in to our hotel in Dubai, we stopped by the Business Center to get our internet access code. We stood in line behind a group of young people from the Seychelles. So, we struck up a conversation and learned that they are a badminton team representing their country in a big tournament in Algiers. All of these kids speak at least four languages, were very courteous, and told us that they have Olympic aspirations. We had a lot of fun talking with them while we waited in line. It was time well spent!

Regardless of where we are going, we should take the initiative to meet the people God puts in our path. Meeting other people and listening to their stories can make our goings and comings a lot more interesting and certainly much less boring. So, the next time you venture out — whether to the grocery store, the soccer field, or some distant place — remember that the journey is just as much a part of the adventure as your destination. Engage others in conversation. Share your story and listen to theirs. And, enjoy the journey!


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