November 3, 2006

The plane had lifted off from Boston, and yours truly was in a foul mood, indeed. Ahead of me lay six hours of travel time, with still another plane change in Dallas/Ft. Worth to endure. New England was passing behind us into the orange and violet shades that would follow us towards night, and before us lay the blues and yellows of the daylight our plane was jetting westward towards.

Somewhere between Buffalo, NY and Flint, MI, it hit me.

I looked around the plane and the rows of passengers in front of me, all of us anticipating the calls to loved ones or that connecting flight that would ultimately get us to our destinations or homes, far away from or back to whatever that place is we call home. I looked at the clouds, now steel gray beneath us, lengthening their stretch towards the horizon in every direction, the only color a dying finger of red in the west. And it was then, at that very moment, I felt within me a keen sense of wonder and blessedness at simply being alive and aware of the presence of God around us.

A few seats in front of me sat an elderly couple, and I thought about how blessed we were to live in an age where one could travel to places near and far, places that at one time could only be visited in one’s dreams, now accessible at virtually the drop of a hat. Certainly, the technological changes they had seen in their lives were beyond anything they could have imagined in their youth.

The guy across from me seemed to be using the time to do paperwork of some kind, and I thought how blessed we were to live in a country where people could strive to be virtually anything or anyone they wanted to be if they put their hearts, minds, and passions towards it. And I thought how blessed I was to have a job where I could work from virtually anywhere I wanted to – something that, as little as ten years ago, was a luxury available to only the rich.

A young man in front of me was reading his Bible, and I felt blessed to be able to look at my own battered relationship with my church and my prayer life, and to marvel at all the experiences, good, bad, and bittersweet, I have been privileged to have been witness to. And blessed to be able to say that, while there are regrets for sure, if given the opportunity to do it all over again, I still would.

I looked at the couple sitting next to me, and thought about how blessed I was to have family and long-standing friendships to rely on whenever I felt lonely or disconnected from my immediate surroundings. And even in those cases where long-standing friendships appear to be cooling or winding down, as seems the case with my friend Jim, there was blessedness to be found in the sense of wonder at the passage of time and the dizzying life changes we have both experienced over the past several years.

As the flight attendents were doing their cabin service, I feel blessed to have ready such access to food, drink, and nourishment, knowing that in so many areas of the world, these commodities would be considered a luxury, indeed.

And more than anything else, I realized how blessed I was to have those things most of us in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives take so much for granted – a roof over our heads, a bed we can lie in safely at night, and, at least as far as I know, good health. How many of us live each day knowing that health indeed is weath?

The rest of the flight seemed to pass quickly and uneventfully, and as that feeling of inner peace, joy, and amazement I had felt began to diminish as the “real world” began its intrusion back into my psyche, I said a prayer of thanks to God for that brief window into blessedness, and for allowing the memory of that moment to linger.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 01:08 | Comments (2)
  1. Really enjoyed your piece on Aloha oe, but not nearly as much as I enjoyed “Blessedness”. In talking with #1 son on my birthday last Tuesday, I can remember saying to him how happy we were here in our Florida home and how blessed I felt with all that God and family have given me. It brings tears to my eyes now just thinking about how wonderful things have turned out for us and I thank you for making me aware of who I should be thanking. Take care, my Dear, and give my love to your beautiful bride. Auntie Marge

    Comment by Auntie Marge — November 5, 2006 @ 7:33 am

  2. Thanks for the comment, Auntie. You’re so very welcome, and I hope all is going well down in sunny Florida!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — November 5, 2006 @ 5:40 pm

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