Wednesday, September 20, 2006


My beloved and I are on a plane headed for Dallas from Kansas City. With security heightened it has taken longer than usual to get through security checkpoints. In addition to the usual forbidden items, they have recently added any liquid, gel, or paste. After searching my purse, they threw my brand new, unopened water bottle away.

I should have known, but a little inconvenience in the name of safety is a small price to pay. I positioned myself across from the security checkpoint, watching each person’s reaction as they were pulled aside for a body or carry-on search. Most patiently followed the directives of the airport personnel, but some travelers went out of their way to let everyone know how annoyed they were.

How soon we forget. No doubt every passenger who boarded what would become their tomb on September 11, 2001 anticipated a routine flight. No doubt their primary concern that day was catching their plane.

I have been to other countries where it was commonplace to see soldiers stationed throughout the airport with machine guns, and this was before September 11. I read that anyone flying out of New Delhi, India should arrive three and a half hours before take-off. Sure puts the ninety minutes required for my flight in perspective.

Unfortunately, while security measures are tightening all over the world, we in the U.S. are adjusting to some of these issues for the first time. While we have no choice but to follow these security measures, we are in complete control as to how we respond to them.

What if I were to respond with gratitude? Would I be more tolerant as I stand in line to check in? Would I smile and say a kind word to the one who x-rays my luggage or to the one who checks my ID? Would my gratitude be evident as I put all of my belongings in a tub to be x-rayed? As the alarm goes off and I am pulled aside to be searched, am I grateful that TSA is taking every precaution for the safety of all passengers? Will I thank every employee I come in contact with who is just doing his job? Is it possible to be grateful and it not become evident to those around me?

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

I Thessalonians 5:18

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