Don’t you think that airports are just the weirdest places ever? I mean they’re so artificial, and so full of people all just waiting to be somewhere else…
I have probably mentioned before that I am pretty impatient about waiting most of the time, and unfortunately airports naturally occupy that ‘dead time’ space for me, which I was reminded of again just few weeks ago when my husband and I took a city break to Reykjavik together.
Waiting to be somewhere else
Waiting to be somewhere else is always difficult; whether that somewhere else is in another country, another job, another relationship, or another stage of life.
But there’s actually a couple of valuable lessons I have learned about waiting over many years of travelling through airports…
3 life lessons I’ve learned from waiting in airports…
1. Don’t resist the experience; accept it, and embrace it for what it is.
Get yourself into the right mind-set to approach it positively as something that’s a necessary and unavoidable step in the journey to your destination.
2. Give yourself as much time as possible.
Don’t put unnecessary pressure on yourself by cutting it too tight, or stress yourself unnecessarily by trying to race through the process in the minimum amount of time possible, only to get irritated and wound up that everything takes so long.
Because in the airport scenario, once you have dealt with the parking, checked your bags in, been through security, and found your gate number, there’s actually this small, sweet spot – a window of time where the hassle is over, you have done everything that you need to do, and you can just relax for a while.
3. Choose to embrace and enjoy your present.
Make the waiting a little easier on yourself. Relax and enjoy your surroundings for a while. Why not try out a new restaurant, enjoy a coffee, treat yourself to a magazine, or buy yourself a bag in the duty free?
And if you’re flight is a little delayed and you find yourself slower to depart that you expected, well even more reason than ever to take this advice on board.
And the thing that I am discovering is that what’s true in airports, is also true in most areas of my life…
A necessary part of the journey
So if you’re waiting to be ‘somewhere else’ right now, whether that’s physically or just metaphorically speaking, just remember that preparing to leave well is just as important a part of the journey as arriving at your final destination.
It’s a necessary part of the journey that can’t usually just be avoided or rushed through, not without something important being forgotten or going wrong.
And actually, if you embrace it for what it is, you might actually find some joy in the waiting space… even if it is an airport lounge!
In Psalm 27: 14 King David writes:
‘When I wait, you strengthen my heart’
And he was a guy who knew a thing or two about waiting for God’s timing and purposes to be outworked…
So if you’re struggling with patience whilst you’re waiting to arrive somewhere new today, why not ask God to strengthen your heart in the waiting as well?