Leaving Dallas–Get Me to the Plane on Time


y'all come back now, y'hear?

 When I learned the American Christian Fiction Writers conference would be in Dallas, Texas I harbored mixed feelings about flying, especially worried about the new security measures. I read the ACFW first-timers orientation e-mail loop like a concordance, gathering travel tips like bread crumbs.Apparently the tips paid off because I slipped through the security line without incident. But trouble still lurked. When weather delayed my flight, my connecting plane in San Francisco flew without me and I landed in Dallas five hours later than originally planned, tired and hungry.

I hoped the trip home would be less tense.

I checked in from my hotel computer, paid my baggage fee and printed my boarding pass while standing in the lobby. The shuttle driver dropped me off at Terminal E without so much as a second glance. Except I stood outside gate 42 and I needed gate 8.

I pitied the passenger who would have to sit next to me on the plane as I pulled two suitcases and carried a tote down the sidewalk in the hot Dallas sun. I slipped through security once again and found myself in front of gate 8. How fantastic was that?

  I put myself back together—jewelry tucked in a plastic bag in my tote. I checked the flight monitor and didn’t see my departure listed, but knew I had a long wait, so I didn’t worry. I took a picture of the only Dallas cowboy I saw, a gentleman attending the information desk.

As time drew nearer to my flight, I wondered why there weren’t many people around me and why the waiting area monitor kept reading Newark, New Jersey. A voice niggled at me, “Check your ticket.”

 I pulled out my boarding pass, put on my glasses, and realized I’d misread the ticket—I needed gate E6. Heading that direction, stopping long enough to buy a sandwich, I sank into a padded chair. No sooner had I taken a bite than I heard my name being called over the loudspeaker. I approached the attendant, identifying myself.

“Your plane is boarded, ma’am. Do you wish to fly?”

Embarrassed, I yanked my boarding pass out, had it screened and hurried down the jet bridge to my flight. I apologized to the waiting attendant. “I was at the wrong gate.”

He laughed and said it happens all the time. I found my seat, still clutching my sandwich and my drink and sat down with a whoosh, my panic not yet abated. I thanked God for His protection over me.

I’m glad I made my flight, but as I sat there waiting for my heart to still, I thought of all the blogs I could have written had I been stranded in Texas.

 Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

Philippians 4:19 (NKJV) “And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

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