An Unexpected Blessing While Traveling
This past month has been a busy season of travel for me. After three weeks in India and Egypt my wife, Margaret, and I traveled to Southern California last weekend for our youngest son’s wedding. It was a beautiful wedding and a delightful time! It was also a time when I received a blessing I didn’t expect.
On Sunday we went online to check-in and were disappointed to see we weren’t sitting together for our flight home. We had booked this ticket months ago and our seats were together on our flight out so I assumed everything would be the same for our trip home. It wasn’t. Not only were we not together, Margaret was in a middle seat and I didn’t have a seat assignment. My ticket said “Check with the agent at the airport.” It wasn’t encouraging as the only options were a middle seat elsewhere or to purchase an upgrade. Even though I had just had a great time with family and friends I was tired. I began to brood.
At this point I have to admit this is a “first world” problem. Over the past month I spent a significant amount of time with people in India and Egypt who make less money per month than it cost for just one of our airline tickets. The “inconvenience” of sitting in a middle seat away from my wife was just that, an inconvenience and nothing more. I pushed it out of my mind and resigned myself to whatever would happen.
When we got to the airport I found I had a middle seat in the row behind Margaret. It wasn’t what I wanted but we were close enough to pass our Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffle dinner between us. As I completed my check-in there was still a glimmer of hope. A message popped up asking if we were willing to go on a later flight if the plane was too full. If we did, we’d be compensated with a voucher for a future flight. My hopes rose as I saw there were two more flights to Chicago later that day. I thought, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we got a later flight, were able to sit together and got paid to do so?” It would have been, but it didn’t happen.
They didn’t need our seats so we boarded as planned, resolved to enjoy our flight home sandwiched between strangers. As I got to my row and pointed at my seat the woman in the aisle asked if it was okay if she took the middle seat. That seemed like a strange request! She told me that she and her husband always chose a window and aisle seat when flying in the hopes no one would sit between them and they’d have extra room. If someone did have that seat they would sit together. I told her, “That would be wonderful! Thank you!”
Margaret was sitting in the row in front of me and so she couldn’t help but overhear. I said, “Isn’t this great that I get an aisle seat after all?” That was great, but it gets better!
As Margaret and I were talking the woman sitting in the aisle seat next to Margaret figured out we were together. She turned to me and said, “I’m traveling alone. Do you want to switch seats so you can sit together?” I replied, “Yes, thank you very much!” As we switched seats I turned to her and the other woman and said, “Thank you for blessing me like this!”
It actually gets better! The seats we ended up in were in the Economy Plus section with more legroom!
[Tweet “God gave me a blessing I didn’t ask for. “]
Let me review this for you. While I was brooding over having a middle seat separated from Margaret, here’s what happened.
- I got an aisle seat.
- We got to sit together.
- We were put in a more spacious section.
And by the way, the only thing I was praying for was to be bumped for a later flight. I wasn’t praying for the blessing of sitting together. God gave me a blessing I didn’t ask for. In the overall scheme of things in life this was not a big deal. But it was a blessing. And it is something I need to give glory to God for giving us. Thank you Father for blessing me like this!
What blessing can you give thanks for today? Please let me know below.