My daughter snapped a picture of her two kids as they walked down the jetway together after a visit with us.
These two have already logged more air miles in their first several years of life than I did in my first 40 years.
When I first saw this picture, it hit me how young they were, how vulnerable. How different everything had to appear from their lower line of vision.
Lots of legs and shoes.
But in spite of age, it reminded me of a familiarity they have with flying. It’s not as exciting as it once was, when the joy of flying among the clouds was all Sloane could talk about. Her matter-of-fact attitude borders on a world-weariness now that I often hear from my husband. Sloan deadpanned, “I just don’t know if I can get on another airplane.”
I do love the ease with which family living far away can get to us. I remember growing up, our summer vacations were always to Bowie, Texas. We’d leave the suburbs of Chicago early evening, the four of us kids in the back of the station wagon. Separated from the folks by luggage. We’d drive through the night and reach Oklahoma City in time for breakfast. We’d have a few days there with our aunt, uncle, and cousins, playing with their animals. Horses, dogs, cats–my dream place.
After a few days, we’d head south to Texas. Granny lived on a small farm. Her house was old and full of places to explore, root cellars to hide in, tire swings to get crazy on. More animals in town than people.
We only went once a year. The planning was a chore for my parents; traveling by car with four kids wasn’t easy.
Dad drove the whole way. Which left Mom to supervise us from the rearview mirror.
I swear she had eyes in the back of her head. She’d call us out when we thought we were well-hidden behind the luggage.
Traveling back and forth to see Dad’s relatives was always a big thing. Because of its rarity, we wanted to fill every moment with fun, making memories whose value we didn’t recognize at the time.
Lest I get caught up in the nostalgia of road trips, they weren’t easy. Mom stayed awake to talk to Dad. Too often one of us kids would get car sick, requiring an emergency stop at a local laundromat.
Traveling was wearing.
From here to there. The journey we call life takes us places: places we don’t expect, can anticipate with excitement, or dread with heaviness. We’re on the jetway to places we need to go, things we need to experience.
We don’t have to go alone.
God has offered to join us on our journeys; the good, the bad, and the hard. Jesus came, not just to share the reality of heaven with us, but to walk with us here. To carry and share our weariness with us.
We move around now more than people ever have. Yet so many feel lonely wherever they go.
Don’t travel alone. Let Jesus join you on the jetway.