Have you ever woken up one morning feeling very keen and invested in a particular mission? You are determined to complete a list of specific tasks, and you feel ready, but as soon as you put your feet on the ground to put on your slippers, the first obstacles are already sitting there, ready to block your path…
A Series of Unfortunate Events
The last time this happened to me, it was Thursday January 24th, 2019. My best friend in Florida was going through a very hard time. On the Wednesday night, I had decided to buy a plane ticket to visit her for two days. So I reserved my plane ticket, and my parking spot at the parking lot of the Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport. My flight was scheduled for 6am on Thursday morning. The day before, the forecast predicted some rain for the following day, but nothing major… When it came time to go to the airport, I noticed that the interior lights of my car had been left on all night since 8pm. It was now 3:45am. I lived a 30 minute car ride away from the airport under normal conditions, except that in that moment:
- My car battery was dead, so my car would not start!
- There was an ice storm.
- The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) was not sending out roadside assistance for another few hours.
- Not many taxis were in service due to the bad weather. It was now 4:22am. I was supposed to be at the airport already. But I had to wait 40 minutes for a driver to arrive.
- When the taxi arrived, I slipped on the ice in front of my house and injured my hand. I was bleeding and stained my pastel grey pants with blood (that’s right! I was wearing vacation attire!)
- During my fall, my suitcases popped open and my belongings spilt onto the ground. I had to pick everything up from the front entrance of my house which now resembled a skating rink.
- The roads were impassable. There was water everywhere! The taxi driver was hydroplaning on the highway. I was sure we were going to crash into a truck. I was literally afraid for my life!
However, I remained calm. As soon as I got into the taxi, I opened my Bible app and I started reading. But the car was slipping on the road so much that I couldn’t stay focused on my reading. So I decided to check and see if my flight had been canceled or delayed. The airport website indicated that my flight had been rescheduled for 2:10pm. Since there was so much time to kill, I thought I’d go home to get my car fixed and maybe even nap. We were almost past the Decarie exit, and ready to merge onto the 40 towards the airport when I asked the driver to turn around and head back to my home. But a doubt lingered in my spirit… When we were 3 blocks away from my home, I checked my flight number on the airline website and realized I had checked the wrong flight number. It was already time for boarding. It was too late. I had to wait for the airline’s customer service to open up at 8am to know if I could be placed on another flight that day. And nope! I had not purchased trip cancellation insurance!
All this happened 8 months ago. Last week, I had to catch a flight to Minneapolis for a business trip. My flight was scheduled for 5pm and at 3pm, I was at the airport, in my car, ready to park it. Everything was going according to plan until I got to the ramp that leads to the airport parking lot. I was caught in the middle of the taxi drivers’ protest against the deregulation of the industry. After I managed to convince the car drivers behind me to backtrack by driving in reverse gear to get out of the dead end, I spent more than an hour driving around the airport to find an entrance to my parking space. I finally managed to park my car 30 minutes before takeoff. I passed customs at 4:45pm, and I boarded the plane just 10 minutes before takeoff.
One of the lessons that I learned from my misadventures is to keep my eyes fixed on the mission. Despite everything that was happening on the road, I should have kept my focus on the final goal and not on everything else that was happening around me. Last January, if I had arrived at the airport on time, maybe I would have walked into another obstacle yet again, such as getting blocked during my flight check-in, but maybe, just maybe, I would have managed to convince them to let me board… We will never know. In any case, these adventures were great lessons for my practical life and also for my spiritual life. When everything is going really badly, and we are under the impression that in the exact same moment, all the “forces of evil” have aligned themselves against us to make our life difficult… We must press on, keep our eyes fixed on God and on the mission to be accomplished, and/or on God’s promises to us.
Let us keep looking to Jesus. Our faith comes from Him and He is the One Who makes it perfect.Heb 12:2a NLV
Papa, I pray for the person reading this article today. You alone know the challenges and obstacles that they must confront on a daily basis. I ask of you, Papa, to give them the strength to overcome all difficulties and to allow them to keep their eyes fixed on You, on their mission, and on the promises that you have made to them. Amen!