Monday, January 6, 2014

The Missing Bag That Never Was


 My family got into the airport in Orlando late last night.  In a perfect world it was a good time to arrive and get everyone to bed.  However Snowmaggedeon was supposed to be happening in Ohio, so we weren’t sure if we’d be one of the many travelers stuck in the airport.  We rushed to the airport so my mother could drop us off and wouldn’t be stuck in the snow.  We got delayed (not by much) and through the rush of running, getting two kids and a dog all packed and ready to return south we all made a boo boo. 

When my family and I arrived at the house in FL, we realized we were missing a suitcase.  The only thing we could think of is that it must have gotten left at the airport.  We checked on six bags and left with six, but there was a seventh.  My oldest daughter was missing her suitcase;  filled with her Christmas presents and a load of new clothes that she’d just bought in Canada, the bag was missing.

I rushed back to the airport on my own, only to realize my car was low on gas.  The only place I could have stopped to get gas I’d passed, I took to praying we’d find the suitcase and I’d have enough gas to not be stranded on the side of the road.

I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to find your suitcase in a sea of other suitcases at midnight.  I don’t recommend it.  Lesson well learned, I think I need to opt for some crazy ribbons on our bags next time.  Bags were skewed in attempted rows, and travelers were searching desperately were everywhere.  The buzz of the airport hung in the air like bees, and a nervous knot hung in by belly like day old bread.  I thought our suitcase would never be found. 

I tried to explain to the airline lady about how we weren’t sure if the bag was ever tagged.  It was late, I was frantic, and though losing it wasn’t the end of the world, I didn’t want to have to come home without it.  Feeling defeated I left the airport with the hopes that someone would turn it in.  I wasn’t very optimistic.  My car got to the gas station on fumes, and I made my way home to a crying 12 year old. 

My daughter is so sweet.  She kept praying that we’d find it.  I’m a woman of faith, but honestly I had more doubt than anything here.  I thought it was gone.  My sweet daughter kept praying, and I kept thinking “God please don’t disappoint her.” But in my head, I wasn’t holding my breath. After calling the baggage people in Columbus, and my midnight swim through the seas of unclaimed in Orlando, I thought it was gone.

This morning my parents called me.  They’d looked through their car not finding the bag too, and I know they thought it was gone.  However when my mom went to her desk, she almost tripped over it.  The bag was never brought to the airport.  It was still there and it has been found.  Thank you God! It will be making its journey down to us later this week, after Snowmaggedeon passes.

It is so easy to get so rushed that you make silly mistakes like this.  When chaos swirls we all forget things, overlook them, and lose sight of our focus.  We have to keep our vision and focus despite crazy circumstances.

Hebrews 12:1-3 (MSG)

12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!


I could also easily write this blog about having faith like a child.  My oldest daughter certainly showed her mother up this time. It’s amazing how as adults we can get so jaded, and don’t always believe God or question more than kids do.

Luke 18:17 (ESV)

17 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

            Our take home lessons here are to label our suitcases a little better and perhaps not to get so frazzled at the airport.  I’m just glad the bag has been found.  I guess we’ve all lived these kinds of stories.  I hope you can learn and laugh from mine.

            Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

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