There it was printed on a carry-on bag: “Keep Calm and Carry On.” I was fascinated with it and visually followed it past me in the airport.
After a glorious time during a quick three-day trip to attend my daughter’s grad school commencement, we said a sad goodbye outside the airport.
Soon after she pulled away from the curb, I discovered that no planes were flying to Dallas that day and probably not the next due to hail damage to the planes at DFW Airport.
I quickly called my daughter so she could stay at the airport and wait in the cell phone lane.
The first phrase, “Keep Calm,” helps us when we are beset by unexpected events—joys or disappointments, changes and cancellations in our schedules. I spent an hour in line with the other stranded passengers. Most of them were furious at the interruption of their plans. That would have been me if I were missing a vacation, a job interview, a family wedding.
Calm eye of the storm
My delight at the opportunity to stay another day or two with my daughter’s family gave me an objective view of the chaotic scene. I was the only one joyful about the flight cancellation, secretly smiling to myself.
I was the calm eye of the storm, as my only concern was my daughter and her children waiting so long for me. This composure was an unusual mindset for me, as I am often the first one to panic in a quickly changing circumstance that spins out of my control.
The second phrase, “Carry On” applies to traveling light. The guy with the trunk he wanted to check through to his destination and the families with strollers, car seats and a jumble of bags scattered over the floor were struggling to keep things together as they moved along in line. I have been in their world many times, once missing the first two days of a tour of the Holy Land because of a flight delay from Dallas to New York. Our bags could not be checked after sundown on Friday by El-Al, so we had to standby for two days. A couple of people from our flight from Dallas went right through with their carry-on luggage.
We keep calm by being aware of the Lord as our traveling companion and staying in his presence among the crowd of complainers. When we don’t feel close to him, we can carry on as though he was right beside us, because through faith he is!
We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.
God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. (1 John 4:16)
(© 2012 revised 2017 Nancy HC Ward)