An Intermezzo Blog – Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow

Hmm, I felt very uneasy with the start of this trip as you know if you receive my emails (yes, I am that ancient; I still use “old-fashioned email”!! 🙂 )   Anita and I were involved in what felt like a near-death experience.  More on that in a minute.   The jump from Lexington to NY was a nice boring hop on AA, the kind you wish for when flying.

Brooklyn TabWe were privileged to visit Brooklyn Tabernacle and the worship was absolutely amazing; a little too loud, but tolerable in the balcony and with ear plugs.  The best thing about it was from the encouragement from Jim Cymbala, the pastor, to talk about Who we know; not what we believe, not where we go to meet with the church, not our theology nor what the Greek for this word or that word may mean, but to simply talk about Who we know; not in judgment for those who disagree, not with legalistic regulations of what we should or should not do; just tell people Who you love more than your own life.

The next day DQ, our wonderful “Chinese little sister” gave us a marvelous gift of coming all the way from NJ to visit us briefly at our hotel, just to show that she loved us!  What a blessing to have such remarkable friends that feel like family!!

JFK Airport DepartureAfter her visit we left for JFK and had a leisurely afternoon in the airport, as we were too early to even check our bags.  With all our luggage on a cart, we wheeled around and ate a late lunch and parked at the ticketing counter to check in, still with hours to spare.  With yet more time on our hands, I called my brothers and sisters and wished each of them to be as blessed as Anita and I are.

Jet Wing 1Then came the flight.  Here is where it gets interesting!  Our Lufthansa pilot began a slow ascent from NY where the sky was beautifully open and clear.  We were airborne about 30 minutes.  The flight attendants were just preparing to serve us our first round of goodies when the Air Bus 330 began to shake.  The shaking became more violent and the captain announced for the crew to be seated immediately.  Sitting over the wing Anita and I looked out and saw the metal bending up and down like a starling in flight!!  Some on the jet were screaming in terror.  The dips and shaking continued to lunge us forward and backward,Jet Wing up and down, as Anita and I leaned into each other and prayed.  “Father, we are yours and our lives are hidden in Christ Jesus, so whatever you wish to happen to us, we are ready for You.”

My mind raced to Sean and Mikki, Jon and Alicia, LaVonne, Ric and Jacque, Eldon and Martha, Ellen, Ben and Michelle, and I thought of Ming and DQ and hoped that our most recent conversations with our families was as much a blessing to them as it was to us.  There is no one I hate nor against whom I hold any grudge, so my conscience was clear as I prayed quietly in tongues and with my understanding (See 1 Corinthians 14:4-5; 14-15) and talked with The God Who Was There.  Yes, I knew He was in the jet with us.

As the jet continued its careening under the cobalt blue I wondered if we would crash into the ocean, and if we would die from impact or drown in the sea.  Neither was an attractive option, yet I found myself preferring an instant death on impact rather than drowning.  Though the prospect of pain or discomfort at death was very frightening, the idea of dying was not.  Similar to when I had a major stroke in 2007, I simply wondered who would greet us and explain the strange visions of the prophets.  While fearing some pain, the rest was easy, and I ‘felt’ Jesus clasping Anita’s and my hands as we clung to each other.

The Lufthansa monitor on my tv screen showed the pilot turning sharply north and I wondered if there was a mechanical problem and he was taking us back to NY.  I saw some shore to the north of us and thought maybe it was Nova Scotia or Prince Edward, but it was actually the south coast of Cape Cod, I found out a few minutes later.

The four minutes we were being jostled seemed like a VERRRRY LOOONNNNG time until the wings began to calm down.  The pilot came on the intercom a minute later and explained we had encountered some unexpected turbulence (Oh, reeeeally?Emo1) and that it had not been noted by any weather watchdogs or other pilots so it had caught them unaware.  His northward turn was just to follow the flight plan as he was easing us up out of the turbulence to our cruising altitude.

Schullers My JourneyI believe it is in Robert Schuller’s autobiography, My Journey, that he recounts an accident that almost killed him when he hit his head on a car door and did not notice any problems until he had passed out in his hotel room.  After being treated at a hospital and released, he wrote about “standing on the edge of tomorrow” and being in amazement of what lay ahead.

I have been there, now twice!  Once in 2007 when the ER nurse put a mask on my face to anesthetize me and I thought, “This is the last thing I will see on earth.  Tomorrow I will wake in a new world!”  Again, as a jet jumped around in jolts of turbulence, and I hoped our passing would not be too painful, but comforted that either the impact or drowning would be fairly quick.

The lesson of the lurching jet is that I am to “stand of the edge of tomorrow” every day.  Like Paul says, For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” (Romans 14:8-9)

Come stand on the edge of tomorrow with me.  Do not count your life of any value but that He keeps us here to share His love with others (Philippians 1:23-24).  Why else would He not take us home the moment we put our trust in Him?  He gives us to each other while waiting for Tomorrow so that we can encourage each other to trust Him more.
So whether here or There, see you Tomorrow! 🙂

 

6 thoughts on “An Intermezzo Blog – Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow

  1. Really horrible flight you’ve experienced… So glad to hear that you are safe! But I don’t think the pilot made a good decision that turning north without detecting the wind and turbulence… monitoring devices like watchdog is not an excuse, this unexpected incident should be avoidable.

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    1. Normally such turbulence is avoidable because of weather warnings and if another pilot has encountered something that has not shown up on the weather indicators yet. However, in this case, we were the first to encounter the turbulent air. I do not think anything could have been done differently to avoid it. I am sure our pilots warned the airwaves and weather watchers took note of it to warn other flights.

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