Thursday, March 2, 2023

Planes and Avocados …

Monday, I flew out of Little Rock, Arkansas early to Dallas Fort Worth International Airport to complete my Global Entry Pass as we start to travel overseas again.  It was the closes place I could get in for an interview before we leave the country for Portugal.

It was a strange feeling being back on a plane again.  The last time I was on a plane was when we traveled to San Paulo, Brazil to minister to missionaries in that part of the world.  I had forgotten how crazy it can be in airport settings.   But it also brought the sweet excitement that starts taking place as the team closes in on our departure out of the country.   Hard to believe we are a little less than two months away for boarding planes to Lisbon, Portugal.

Please continue to pray for the missionaries that will be attending, the team that is going, details that continue to need to be taken care of before we leave.  As many of you already know from experience, the spiritual warfare that takes place before a team is headed out of the country to minister to others is intense.  We appreciate all your prayers.

Another thing I have missed is people watching in the airports.  And I also, love the things you can learn.  For example, today I was riding the tram from one terminal to another and the older couple sitting across from me were joyfully sharing some things they had learned on their vacation.  I never really caught where they had spent the vacation, but it obviously brought then great joy.  Anyway, they had spent some time with a young man that grows avocados.  They were surprised to learn that while some avocados can look great on the outside and even nice when you cut them open, if they are not grown in good soil there is no flavor to them. Their discussion immediately triggered in me a trip we had taken to Senegal Africa.   I will never forget the first meal we went to in the evening.  They had an incredible spread of fresh fruit, strawberries, watermelon, berries, etc.  It was so inviting, with brilliant colors, fresh looking when cut open, etc.  My taste buds were jumping in my mouth waiting to bite into that fruit.  Especially the watermelon.   I will be honest and say I put some extra on my plate.  When I took the first bite, I honestly could not reconcile what was going on in my mouth with what was going on in my brain at that moment.  I immediately took a bite of all the fruit I had put on my plate.  Same outcome.  No taste at all.  Absolutely bland.  I would be lying if I told you I was not disappointed because I was.  Talking about having expectations that didn’t get met!

Stop and think for a minute of the number of times just today that your expectations didn’t get met.   Something as ridiculous as you ordered a burger and they got your order wrong, your spouse said they would pick up some bread for dinner, but they forgot, your friend said they would pick you up at 9 a.m. and it is now 9:15 a.m.   If we consider the times throughout the day we get frustrated with others it we might be surprised to see how often it is tied into what we expected as an outcome.  Don’t hear me wrong.  I’m not saying all expectations are wrong!!  I’m just saying look at where frivolous expectation could be tripping you up in your daily walk. 

Saw this quote that is rather amusing because there may be a little more truth to it than we like.  “My expectations were reduced to zero when I was 21.  Everything since then has been a bonus.”

Oh, and by the way regarding both the avocado farmer and the fruit that was bland.  Both needed soil that had more nutrients in it.  As the couple on the tram explained, they needed to be fertilizing the soil much more.  The same would be true of the fruit I told you about.

Kind of like some of us.  Maybe we could use a little Word fertilizer to make sure what you see on the outside really permeates through our being.  Just saying…