This morning I awoke to leisurely pack my belongings in my rolling garment bag. drop in my valuable information and books into my rolling briefcase and set out for LAX around 10am in hopes to beat the rush of other travelers who might be trying to get their tickets changed. I arrived via my favorite shuttle (The Parking Spot) and made the left-hand turn only to be greeted by long lines of passengers waiting to get their tickets for destinations unknown.
As arrived at the E-Ticket counter, I encountered an error for processing my ticket and patiently waited for one of the hurried customer representatives. The long lines, the delayed and canceled flights from the night before had left the customer service reps longing for a cot and wishing they had maintained their days off I'm sure; however, today's encounter with Sheila (as I will call her) left me wondering that chance encounters are often divine appointments in disguise for the purposes of encouraging the weary.
After explaining my situation to Sheila, she began the long process of canceling out the absurd amount of changes I had made to my flight itinerary and refunding this and that and making sure I actually still had a way home on Thursday from St. Louis. In my many trips within my lifetime, and specifically within the last few weeks, I have come to really appreciate the work that flight attendants and customer airline representatives do on a daily basis, and mostly with no thanks. So today, I spent time talking with Sheila, asking our her day was going, and watching for her tells of utter exhaustion. As her fingers whipped over the keys, scanning new screens, she began to tell of her story about her frustrations with some parts of her life. I thought to myself, do I have a stamp on my forward that says tell me your problems. . .and then I realized I asked how she was doing – so why not expect the truth. Our lives are so conditioned to hear the standard response to “how are you doing” that we are amazed when someone actually tells us “how they are doing”.
So in an American Airlines line at LAX, I played listener, passenger, counselor, psychologist, and everyday person. I forgot that God places certain interesting plans in our pathways so that we can be a light and encourager to other people. As I sit on my plane typing this blog bound for St. Louis, the light bulb finally goes off in my brain, that sometimes there are greater things at work in our daily schedules then we first realize.
Remember, today and always that opportunities for service and blessings can be found in the most unlikely of places, so keep your eyes wide open and your hearts soft.
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