Sweat dripping, mouth dry, my bare feet hit the moving escalator's ribbed metal surface as quickly as I could run them. I was on my second lap through the G Terminal of Minneapolis' airport and one confusing situation after another had led me to retrace my steps to get back to gate G4. Destination: LAX. The doors were closing in 5 minutes and as a standby passenger, I probably wasn't going to make it on the flight.
My feet felt every single rib each time they met the ground and the sweat continued to pour as the smallest suitcase I owned got heavier and heavier for my shoulders and my computer bag cramped my back and neck.
You're not going to make it. So just stop trying now. You look like a fool and everyone you pass thinks it's your fault you're late and running...
The Pessimist in my head had made his presence quite well known at this point and the only thing that kept my feet going at the present pace was the promise of home. I was going to get home today, one way or another. This flight or the next, it didn't matter.
This is a great workout. Thank God I've been doing kickboxing! You can do this. You can do this...
The Optimist's voice was quieter but kinder, gentler, more compassionate-my subtle cheerleader.
Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming...just keep swimming...
Oh how I love
from 'Finding Nemo' for situations like these!
My eyes were glazed over as I continued to press on, looking at the ribbed metal moving walkway beneath me. I grimaced each time one ended for fear of catching a bare toe at the end of the line. Finally,
finally, I reached G4 and could barely gasp out my situation and speak my name to the flight assistant at the desk. Through my gulps for air, wiping sweat off my face, she had such empathy in her eyes but still had to speak the truth: "Your flight is full. I don't have any seats left."
Choking back tears and admitting defeat, I hung my head and almost whispered under my breath, "Orange County would work too." She pounced. Computer keys clicked with a fury I'd never seen and I had a ticket in my hand for gate G19. Time for lap #3. I laughed-at the irony, the frustration, the exasperation and to ward off The Pessimist in my head telling me yet again that I wouldn't make it.
" Grab a cart ride-there's no shame in it!" She suggested and like an angel of mercy, one arrived as if on cue. I hopped on with the 85 yr-old lady behind me and enjoyed the breezy ride to G19. My warm-down, if you will. . .
As the wind hastened to dry off my sweat from my brow and neck, I revisited the thoughts I'd had while trying to make it to G4.
Would I run like that for Christ? If I knew He would be at the end of the line, would I make that much effort? I was running to get home, but do I run like that daily to get Home-Home?
I had 3 hours on the flight to ponder before embracing my family when I reached my earthly-This-is-where-I-grew-up-home.
The relief I felt when that ticket for Orange County was placed in my hand is nothing to the relief of knowing I don't have to run barefoot on metal ribbing, sweat like a hog and pant like a dog to work or earn my way into that heavenly Home. And I'm so thankful that I have a family that shows me unconditional love here on earth so that I have a healthy view of a Heavenly Father who does the same.