A few weeks ago, I had a somewhat disturbing experience. I'll start at the beginning of the story, although it's a little convoluted! Me and two of my friends were heading home from vacation and we all received text messages from the airline that our flight was delayed by 30 minutes (okay ... no big deal) and then a second text adding an additional hour to the delay (okay, now I began stressing about making our connecting flight in Chicago). A few minutes later, we all received yet a 3rd text stating that we were now booked on a later flight from Chicago to Philadelphia.
After deciding we'd just have to go with the flow, we made the decision to delay going to the airport and enjoy the beautiful morning for an extra hour & a half. However, as soon as we arrived at the airport and were checking our luggage, a 4th text was received - this time, it said that our flight was now ON TIME followed by a 5th text that we were now re-booked on our original (earlier) connecting flight in Chicago. Wow. The bottom line was that the flight was now boarding in 10 minutes.
Fortunately, we lucked out and all had TSA pre-check, AND there was no line at security (!!!) so we arrived at the gate just as the flight was boarding. Whew.
So after much ado, we arrived in Chicago on time, got some pizza during the layover, and got in line to board. We could hear some commotion going on in front of us - apparently some boarding passes wouldn't scan. Uh oh. Turned out that all of the boarding passes of those who had flown in on the delayed-but-not-delayed flight from Las Vegas didn't work. We were told we'd have to go to customer service for new passes. This is when things began to quickly degenerate.
There were already about 10-12 other people at the customer service desk trying to get new boarding passes. By the time we got there, they were already fighting with the agents who were very patiently trying to calm down a few irate people. As though that wasn't bad enough, the group was also fighting with one another. As soon as we walked to the desk, we were greeted by a few people who very loudly and very rudely let us know that they were there first. A few were actually red in the face, and were fuming that they had now lost their place in line, or they had paid for priority boarding and wanted their money back. Some were just angry that they might not get their seating choice. The entire experience felt as though I had just walked into a huge barroom brawl.
My friends and I were eventually given new boarding passes and all was well.
Sometimes, though, we just need a reminder about some of the traits and habits that Christ asks us to develop - traits like patience, tolerance, peace, generosity, and selflessness - traits that show that we really do love our neighbor just as much as we love ourselves. Of course, none of these traits come naturally to us - by nature, human beings are self-centered - but Christ came to teach us a better way. And Scripture tells us that the more we read and embody God's Word, and the more we become like Christ, the more abundant and joy-filled our lives will be. I truly believe that - and I hope you do too!