Nicey Shares: The Joy in the Journey

here is a little reminder of what we are missing out in this time-obsessed world . . . simple joys 🙂

She sat in 14E, and I sat in 14D.

She was rural, and I was urban. She was backward, and I was sophisticated. She was homey, and I was “professional.” But she could see, and I was blind.

“They sure do put these seats close up against each other, don’t they,” she said as I sat down.

Her face was ten inches from mine. She had basset-hound cheeks; her eyebrows peaked over her nose; and her jowls sagged. She wore a Dutch-bob haircut and a blue, velour pants suit. I don’t know if she was old or just looked old. But I do know one thing: She’d never flown.

“I don’t do this too much, do you?”

When I told her I did, her eyes widened. “Oooh, that must be fu-un.” (She could add a syllable to any word.)

I groaned to myself. I already had a bad attitude. My week had been hectic. The plane was late and overbooked. And now I was sitting next to Gomer Pyle’s mother.

“Oooh, boy, look at that one!”

She pointed at the plane ahead of us on the runway.

“Is this one that big?”

“Yes.” I hoped my brief response would show her that I wasn’t up for chitchat. It didn’t.

“I’m going to see my boy in Dallas. Do you ever go to Dallas? I hope he’s OK. He had a stomach flu last week. He’s got a new dog. I can’t wait to see it. It’s a Labrador. Do you know what that is? They are big and lovable and … ”

She was uncanny. Not only could she add a syllable to every word, she could answer her own questions.

As we were taking off, however, she got quiet. For several moments she said nothing. Then she suddenly let out a sound that would have called the pigs for dinner.

“Oooooeeee, those trees down there look like peat moss!”

People seated around us turned and stared like I was E. F. Hutton.

“What river is that?”

I told her I didn’t know, so she flagged down a stewardess.

When I pulled out my laptop computer, she was enthralled. “Now isn’t that clever.”

And that went on … the whole flight. She didn’t miss a thing. If she wasn’t staring out the window, she was amazed by a magazine. If she wasn’t talking, she was “oooh-ing.” She played with her fan. She turned her light on and off. She toyed with her seat belt. She savored her lunch. When we went through turbulence, I looked over at her to be sure she was all right, and she was grinning. You’d have thought she was riding the Ferris wheel at the county fair!

It occurred to me, about mid-journey, that she was the only person enjoying the trip.

The rest of us, the “sophisticated,” were too mature to have fun. I was staring at a computer screen—eyes tired, stressed-out, trying to find a message for stress-filled people and never noticing that the message was sitting beside me.

“Wasn’t that a fu-un trip?” she asked as we were leaving the plane.

I didn’t say anything. I just nodded and smiled. Off she walked, bouncing down the concourse as curious as a six-year-old. I watched her as long as I could, then turned to go to my next flight with a lesson learned.

I resolved to keep my eyes open.

It does little good, I decided, to make the trip and miss the journey.

From In the Eye of the Storm
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1991, 2001) Max Lucado

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