Friday, October 07, 2005

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

I travel a lot. Not as much as some of you, but I travel a lot. In fact, my sister left me a voicemail today that said, "It's Friday. Which airport are you in today?"

It's become part of our life that I leave on Friday afternoon and return -- sometimes Saturday night -- sometimes Sunday evening. It's just part of our routine now. But every once in a while I feel bad about being gone so much. Usually, that guilt is centered around how much my wife has to do in my absence.

This morning it was my daughter Anabel.

She didn't want to let me go. Rather, she didn't want to let go of me. She was clingy and hung on my neck as I was trying to leave. For a minute I remembered what that was like when I was her age, and I would have given anything to get my dad's attention -- to have him stop paying attention to everyone else under the sun except me. I remembered, and it hurt my heart. So, even though I was running late, I stayed an extra five minutes with Anabel.

And I missed my plane.

Traffic in Atlanta was bad this morning. It was rainy and dark, and there were accidents and stalled vehicles blocking the center lane. I actually got to the airport in time. But they moved my plane to another gate -- a far away gate -- and by the time I figured that out, the plane had already left. The most frustrating part was that it was still 10 minutes before the scheduled departure time and it had already left!

I was supposed to go to South Bend, Indiana. There are two flights from Atlanta to South Bend per day. What?! Two?! That's it?! And the second flight was sold out.

So, I waited around the Atlanta airport for three hours, flew to Cincinnatti, waited an hour, flew to Chicago, waited 45 minutes and took a bus --through rush hour traffic -- to Michigan City, Indiana. I got in at about 7:00pm local time. I just got in from dinner.

I'm tired. I know I said I would try to explain how people decided which books got in the New Testament. But I just can't do it tonight. Please understand.

Are you still with me?