He Wants To See You Smile

I don’t know about you but I find myself taking some things for granted. I tend to forget how blessed my life is until God says, “Wait a minute.”

One major blessing is that I work for an airline as a Gate Agent boarding and deplaning passengers on flights.

A huge benefit of working for the airlines is having a fleet of airplanes at your disposal to go anywhere they fly. I mean anywhere.

Domestic flights are free and international flights have tariffs upon return. Charlotte to Dublin, for example, costs $41.

When I say I’m blessed, I mean… I am blessed.

Flying for free has it’s set of challenges that are just a part of the adventure. You cannot set concrete plans because you have to fly on standby.

Most trips are pretty straight forward since you plan your flights based on how many seats are available.

Last night flying to Chicago (ORD) proved to be extra challenging.

I listed myself on a flight at 5:00pm that was tight with only four seats open. After checking in the night before I was number 3 on the list.

When I got to the gate one hour before the flight, I was number 12. Needless to say I did not get a seat on that flight.

After rolling over to the next flight I was number 11 with only six seats open. It appeared grim until the size of the aircraft was swapped out for a larger plane.

Suddenly there were plenty of open seats and the Agents presented me a boarding pass. I thought, “Great! I’m on my way.”

When I scanned my boarding pass the screen turned red with the message, “Your seat assignment has been changed.” The Agent apologized and shared that due to the upgraded aircraft many more passengers were booked but never checked in. “Oh, so close.”

I moved onto to the gate of my third flight. This time I had a two hour gap before it was scheduled to board, so I went to grab a bite to eat. I wondered if it was worth the effort at this point. Should I really wait two more hour only to be rejected? Again?

When I got to my new gate I was now four seats away from winning the trip to see my sister. I was not optimistic thinking I might have to retry in the morning.

Now I realized that the worst thing I could do in this situation was reveal my frustration. Instead I smiled and said thanks and went to the corner of the waiting area.

Miraculously as the flight was about to close I was summoned to board. “Yes!” I almost thought out loud. I had a seat.

I was thrilled but felt a little guilty knowing that someone lost their seat due to a delayed connecting flight.

I climbed aboard and upon arriving at my seat the row was filled. Apparently I was mistakenly assigned a seat already occupied.

This happens more than people realize. I have been seated before only to have a revenue passenger show up forcing me off the plane.

As I did a u-turn to head back off the plane I was thinking this is what it feels like for a salmon swimming upstream.

Again my fortune changed when the Agent said, “Mike. You’re now in 16F.”

I was relieved but the cruel reality struck me when a passenger behind me was removed from the flight since he boarded later than me. Wow! That was close. Poor guy.

I wasn’t absolutely certain my fortune was for real until I heard the doors close. Then the plane backed away from the gate. I was truly on my way.

I am blessed to have a job I love that allows me to take a trip on a moment’s notice. Thank you Lord for Your favor.

Do you realize how blessed and highly favored you are? God wants to fulfill the desires of your heart. He loves to see you smiling.


One Year Ago Today

April Fools’ Day 2022 started like any other day. I didn’t even think about pranks or practical jokes.

When I got out of the shower a massive headache emerged. Throbbing and pulsating.

I don’t get headaches so I thought, “This is weird.”

My next thought wandered through, “is this what a migraine feels like?” And “Do I have an aneurysm erupting?” “I am 66 years old and there is a history of strokes in my family.”

I said to Lisa, my wife, we need to get this checked. Off we went to the nearest Urgent Care. They almost immediately said, “Go to the ER!”

The Emergency Room Doctor ordered a CT Scan and confirmed I was experiencing a brain bleed. “What?!”

They then ordered transport to their Main campus since it was a trauma center.

As they put me in an ambulance I was thinking, “Is this a joke?”

Well… no. I spent the next five days in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) due to what the Physicians called a “Spontaneous Brain Bleed.”

I spent nine days over the first eleven days of April in the hospital.

I really didn’t feel it was that big a deal. The headaches caused by the blood draining was excruciating, but I felt fine otherwise.

Today, exactly one year later, it is as if it never happened. Like a bad April Fool prank.

Through all of it I knew God had me. I trusted Him that He knew what He was doing.

My perspective changed through this. I no longer take my life for granted. Every day is a gift. I thank God for what He is planning for me today.

Embrace your time on earth. Each day is not guaranteed. Each moment is a blessing.

The really cool thing is that God want us to be a part of His plans. He doesn’t need us. He want us.

Praise God.

Now, April Fool’s Day 2023, I am thinking, “Ok Lord. What are You up to today and how can I help?”