So, I’m in Dallas, Texas. I am not supposed to be in Dallas, Texas, I am supposed to be in Scotland. That’s the way I scheduled it, and the world is supposed to run to my schedule, isn’t it?
But when we flew to Dallas, a man on the airplane was ill, and coughed and sneezed all the way across the Atlantic. (Side note: if you love your neighbour, as God commanded us, don’t expose him to your illness for hours in close confinement where he can’t get away from your sneezes. Or at least wear one of those face masks to limit how much you are exposing others.)
So we’re assuming the illness we acquired was from our fellow-passenger. But however we picked it up, we know it is here as part of God’s plan — even if it messed up my schedule.
Because I was supposed to fly back to Manchester yesterday, and arrive there this morning (British time), and then drive home. Sure, I was going to be tired, but I have good concentration when tired, and we’d take frequent breaks on the road. It would have been fine — until the doctor said I have pneumonia (not bad enough to hospitalise me, so in non-technical terms it is “walking pneumonia”), and I wasn’t allowed to fly.
So last night, instead of flying to Manchester, I spent the night in Dallas. Admittedly not a very comfortable night, since I can’t lie down without the coughing kicking up again. This was not in my schedule, and I wasn’t very pleased about it.
And today, instead of driving home from Manchester, I’m hanging out in Dallas, coughing and wishing I was feeling better — and reading the British news about the weather we are missing, the weather through which I was supposed to be driving today (after flying all night).
- Hurricane force winds
- Bridges closed
- A driver killed when his lorry was blown over
- Wide-scale flooding
- Trees down everywhere
- Scotland’s entire rail system closed down
- Thousands without power and thousands being evacuated
- Police Scotland issued stage four red alerts for travel (meaning they do not want people on the roads at all) for the area through which we would have been driving
- Airplanes were diverted
- Someone from Birmingham, describing a journey almost identical to the one we’d have had, wrote this to the BBC: “It took me 10 hours to get to Edinburgh to deliver a vehicle. It was horrendous from the moment I hit Carlisle. I thought leaving so early would have helped, but alas no. I witnessed a HGV on the southbound M74 go over on its side. It is crazy here at Waverley St, Edinburgh.”
And if all that wasn’t enough, by midday in Glenrothes, long before we’d have been home, the snow had started.
“Walking pneumonia” is no joke. I’m miserable. But this just happens to be one of those times when I get to see that my schedule was not so great. And if God chose to use a medical problem to get us off of my schedule and onto His, who am I to argue?
That whole “in everything give thanks” thing really is true. We may not always have a weather report to let us know what we’ve missed when God rearranges our schedule, but we know He is good and wise. These reschedulings are something for which we should always be thankful, even if we don’t know what we are missing.