The other day, while on a plane heading home from a long weekend, we began to experience “mechanical issues.” The captain announced that we would have to turn back to our original airport, but he didn’t say what was wrong. I was irritated. This was surely going to make me miss my connection and all I wanted to do was get home to my kiddo, who was sick with the flu. We then proceeded to turn around, and lower our altitude to something close to a landing height. Honestly, I could tell you the type of cars we were flying over, we were so close to the ground. I got a little nervous. What were these mechanical issues and why were we flying so low? Were we close to crashing and they just wanted less distance between the ground and us? We were low enough that I could have turned my phone on and got a signal. And as I sat there looking out the window at the very close earth below, I thought about what I would do if we really did start to crash. If I only had a few minutes left on this earth, what would I say and whom would I say it to?
My first thought wasn’t, “I wish I were skinnier” or “ I wish I had more money” and it definitely wasn’t, “I wish I had told Facebook what kind of day I’m having.” Sadly, these are all things I think about, usually, on any given day, probably several times a day. But when faced with thinking about the end of life, and I’m not saying we were even close to crashing, I could only think of one thing.
I wanted to tell my husband how much I love him, and how well he has loved me all these years. I wanted my son to know that he has my heart, always, and I couldn’t have prayed for a more perfect boy to complete me. I thought about how my mom needed to know that I love her, even though I don’t always say it first, and what a great dad I have, even though he often referred to me as “son” on accident growing up. I wanted my sisters to know what gifts they were from God, and how their unwavering love and support throughout my life has made me who I am; to tell my brothers how gifted and special they each are and how blessed I am to be their sister. I thought about my friends and how each of them were like a unique puzzle piece, when put together, made me complete. I wanted to tell all my friends and loved ones who don’t know Jesus that He is real and He loves them more than I possibly ever could.
This time of year we get so mixed up in the shuffle of “the season” that we often lose sight of what it’s really about. “For God so LOVED the world, that He gave His only Son…” What great love sent His son to us. What great love allowed Himself to be sacrificed, for us. And what great love surrounds us daily, calling to us to be closer, to go deeper. This great love is what life is really all about. It’s not just a season. As Christians we should be celebrating this love every day and celebrating the love in our lives.
This season, and past it into 2016 I encourage you to love deeper; tell the people in your life what they mean to you while you have the time; take the moments, like a screwed up flight, to think about what matters most to you. When you get frustrated over your coffee being made wrong, instead of yelling at the barista, give them understanding and a smile. The next time you feel like posting a rant on Facebook, stop and share your Jesus testimony instead. I challenge you to find ways to put your phone down and engage with your family, to enjoy the moment instead of documenting it in a perfectly posed picture. Because when you do run out of time, when all you have left is a few moments, I guarantee you, the first thing, the only thing on your mind will be LOVE.