I catch myself imagining what everyone is doing on the world's longest flight (New York to Singapore). We are together for over eighteen hours. It is a closed piece of machinery. Nobody is getting on or off until we land.
As I look into the lives of those around me, their activities fall into three distinct areas. Almost in equal portions, they seek the quietness and recovery found in sleep. For many, it is as if he or she is a contemporary art exhibit at the Tate. An individual has taken whatever comfort and custom they have and, in the context of the flight, have escaped into the personal world of sleep and the dreams that follow. In contrast to the normal routine in the safety of one's immediate family, everything is out on display. This includes his or her position, personal noises (or lack of), and movements (or lack of).
Others seek the solace and comfort found in entertainment – usually a movie or two. Matching choices with external perceptions is always fun, every flight brings a distinct surprise or two! You would be amazed at the choices some make, especially in a context of ignoring everyone around them.
The third group is engaged in study or work. It is often difficult to know “why”. Are they responding to a deadline? Is it an interest of personal growth? Some choices are intentional, as I found out as a dear friend pulled out an electrician's syllabus to study (he wanted to get certified). There are many making this choice; “the eunuch had been on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was returning to Ethiopia, where he was minister in charge of all the finances of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians. He was riding in a chariot and reading the prophet Isaiah.” (Acts 8.28)
As I reflect on my choices, I find that whatever the activity the action of preference tells me far more about my soul than I often care to realize. Look at the ordinary in the moment at hand; God and our souls are talking.
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