Not the middle!
When in grade school, I’m not sure the exact stigma, but it was a well known fact you never took the middle urinal. Right or left were perfectly fine, but never the middle.
The same is true for airplane seats, except I know exactly the reason why. When you don’t know the person to your right or left, the middle seat is the most uncomfortable place on earth (or 30,000 feet above it).
Two weeks ago, I found myself in this unenviable position. In the middle seat for a 7 hour flight from Miami to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. On my right was a young woman who immediately curled up, put her head on the window and went to sleep. She didn’t wake until our arrival – oh to be her! On my left was an older, grandmother type woman. She had the coveted aisle seat.
I was in the middle.
The aisle + Tetris
As we sat at the gate, heard the safety speech, prepared for take-off and taxied down the runway, this woman took out her tablet computer to play Tetris. For some reason, rather than using my own iPad or read a book, I watched her play Tetris.
I must have watched out of sheer frustration over her play. I found myself wanting to correct a move, give advice or rip the tablet out of her hands and throw it to the back of the plane. We weren’t yet at that level of relationship.
As I watched her play, she finally received the coveted, straight 4 block piece. She really needed this block, but something strange happened.
She let the block fall to the bottom unmoved.
I was shocked, so I looked over to see what was happening.
La Senal de la Cruz
We were at the start of the runway, preparing for the actual take-off, and she was making the sign of the cross. She stopped everything she was doing – even putting her Tetris game at risk – to make the sign of the cross.
She did it for blessing. She wanted safe travels.
As I sat next to her, I forgot about Tetris. I now was intrigued.
There’s nothing wrong with the tradition of the sign of the cross, but it’s just that – tradition. God is not held to that or any other tradition. When it comes to God, so much of us are caught up in tradition, ritual or even superstition.
I’m not held to tradition – even my own traditions and rituals. I’m held to relationship – more importantly covenant. I have entered into a covenant relationship with God. Within this relationship, my traditions and rituals are worthless.
If my aisle-mate on that flight has entered into covenant with God, her sign of the cross was meaningless. God didn’t honor it any more than if she hadn’t made the gesture. God honors her simply because of who she is – His child.
Good, Good Father
Today, I learned a new song – Good, Good Father by Housefires. This is the chorus:
You’re a good good Father
It’s who You are, It’s who You are
Its who You are
And I’m loved by you
It’s who I am, It’s who I am
It’s who I am
The nature of God is good. As His child, I am accepted. I am loved. It is what I am in Him. It has nothing to do with me, my traditions, rituals or superstitions. It has everything to do with Him.
It’s who He is.
God is good, even when I’m in the middle seat.