Ponderings at 30,000 feet

Do you have a special place to think?
I mean, a spot where you consistently go to ponder your life and what you are doing on this planet? (Besides THAT place. You know the one I mean.)
You see, I am operating under the assumption that every person can and should spend some time in intentional contemplation.
Why am I here?
What is next?
How will I approach today?
How will I make a contribution to the world around me?
How can I be sure that I am truly living and not just existing?
I think those kinds of thoughts almost every day and several days per week I write a few words of encouragement to others who are willing to take a few moments to ponder with me.
Most days, those ponderings, and the subsequent writing happens in one of two places.
The first is my rocking chair by the front window of our home, where almost every day begins with a cup of coffee, a protein bar, my guitar, and my Bible.
I sing, pray, read, contemplate, and finally begin sharing thoughts that have arisen during the previous hour or so. It’s a very in-the-moment process.
The second place is just down the hall in what used to be my favorite son’s bedroom. Now, it is my home office, and I sit at a desk that I made out of an upright grand piano.
This writing usually has more of a plan and results in a blog and newspaper column that is read by millions…er, thousands…uh, maybe dozens of people on a weekly basis.
Because of travel this week, I’m pondering and writing at 30,000 feet.
I’m typing on my iPhone, while seated in the middle seat of row 13 on a Delta Airlines flight to Atlanta.
Since I’m in the middle seat, it’s too much of a hassle to get to my bag in the overhead bin to reach the headphones I forgot to grab.
So, while the people on either side of me watch movies, I’m taking the opportunity for unexpected pondering and writing. (And squinting at the small screen – so glad I got the plus size.)
My current airborne context reminds me of a quote that I often use as a personal reminder: “Wherever you are, be all there.”
The pilot just made an announcement that the current turbulence we are experiencing will likely be with us all the rest of the way.
Thankfully, that’s only another 30 minutes or so.
But this is where I am. I can’t do anything about the turbulence.
All of can do is choose my actions and attitudes as we ride it out.
That’s life, isn’t it?
Unexpected turbulence happens.
Plans go awry.
We have to trust the skills of people we don’t know.
And that’s where we are in those moments in time.
So, will we be all there?
Will we pay attention to what God may be saying to us in the turbulence?
Will we focus our attention and faith on His loving care and remember that our lives matter to Him?
Turbulence is temporary.
How we approach it may give us something permanent.

Azle resident Dr. Gerry Lewis is director of
missions for the Harvest Baptist Association, which is headquartered in Decatur. He writes a blog at www.drgerrylewis.com.