Two passengers sit in adjacent seats for a flight to Dallas, Texas. It is Passenger 1’s first flight- to visit a grown son. Passenger 1 talks incessantly to Passenger 2 throughout the flight, reveling in every aspect of the journey from the meal to the turbulence. From the vantage point of Passenger 2, Passenger 1 seems to be the only one enjoying the flight, “seeing” joy in everything.
Passenger 2 has a bad attitude, a toothache, and work that needs to be completed on a laptop. Passenger 2 is in no mood for chitchat, but that doesn’t deter Passenger 1. Passenger 2 is so intensely focused on writing a message to be delivered to stressed-out people that Passenger 2 is “blind” to the message of joy being delivered by Passenger 1.
As the plane lands, Passenger 1 remarks to Passenger 2, aka Max Lucado: “Son, I may be out of place in saying this, but you’ve worked the entire trip. You need to relax, boy. You need to put that machine up and enjoy the journey.”
Passenger 1’s message resonates for us as well in our transitional, Land Between time. Ministry loss brings a great deal of tension, and joy may be a rare commodity. Yet joy is a necessary part of our journey toward healing and revisioned ministry. Joy often can be found in things that go unnoticed when our focus is distracted. We must remember- the joy of the Lord is our strength.