Joy For This Journey

Sunday, March 24

Preparing To Prepare

Can I please remind you if you ever go to Hong Kong non-stop flight for 18 hours in the air , please hydrate prior to your flight departure.
I will never forget this flight, not just how long it was going non-stop from LAX to Hong Kong, but what happened to me on the flight is memorable and literally a painful experience. I remember my doctor telling me before the trip to make sure we 'hydrate' and drink lots of water right before getting on the plane and how very important this will be for circulation and overall comfort from such a trip as this one. I took her advise to heart and made sure we got plenty of water bottles at the airport after going through all the necessary 'security' protocols. I must have had at least 2 water bottles ready to drink at the gate, and then planned to bring on a few more to drink while on the aircraft. Being prepared with essential such as this, did not apparently prepare me for what came next. We were asked to get into an additional security line up again (after the normal security line) and go through it all over again. This meant we had to dispose of all our liquids for the second time, that meaning, all the bottles of water we just purchased to hydrate! So there they went into the trash as we went through another mandatory screening. I just passed this off as 'oh well, I will get water on the plane' scenario and prepared to get on the plane. I had it all planned out, these next 18 or so hours in economy seating. The first 2 hours I would sit, read SkyMall, 3-4 magazines, write a little then the next couple hours I would plan to watch a dvd, or a show, then I would plan to fall asleep (hopefully) for at least 6 hours of the next remaining 13 of the 18 hours. I was trying to remember to ask the flight attendants for water but they unavailable since it was a night flight, they were asleep, and I was in the middle of two men (that being my 6'3 16 year old and my husband), and I was trapped nonetheless. I sipped as much water as I could and decided to try to get some zzz's. I did eventually fall asleep and by the time 6 hours or so time flew by on the flight, I woke up with a very strange feeling in my feet. I bent down while seated still and felt my legs as well and noticed a numbness, a pain and a major discomfort to my surprise. I had a very bad case of swollen feet and legs, pretty much like elephantitis. I anxiously looked at the clock and realised I only slept for 5 out of the 18 hours on the trip to Hong Kong so far and my goodness sakes I was in trouble. The lack of proper and needed water intake was taking it's tole and I was very miserable. I squeezed myself out of the middle economy seat I was in and made my way to the flight attendant's station to find a little Dixie cup area with a tiny area for water drinking and I did my best to get hydrated. It was a very long rest of the way to our long awaited landing and I truly have never anticipated something wanting to end as this flight in my life. When we landed I shuffled off the plane as all the passengers did and there we were on land and there I stood with swollen feet and legs but happy to be on the ground at last.
I really do believe I see a parallel with my experience and in life. There are those times that a lack of preparing for your life will affect you and we know its our own negligence. I also believe one can plan, prepare, think, and do all we can to do everything "right" and somethings are just impossible to prepare for. I would call this being ready in season and out of season for all of life's situations whether a plane venture, a missions trip to share God's love with a people. If all our planning, like I intended to drink water and avoid the uncomfortable situation I found myself in...instead of letting that ruin my trip, I had to adjust my thinking and adjust to it.  Also, the foot is to the body what the will is to the soul. We go wherever our will takes us. Preparation, the Christian's spiritual readiness, are our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15 talks about one of the pieces of armor " and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." We need to walk around in these shoes and prepared for all of the possible circumstances we don't expect. 


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