Becoming a frequent flyer

‘The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.’

Lamentations 3: 22-3

I have just taken a flight to America with my four year old son Ben, who’s a real plane enthusiast…

Back at home in Liverpool, our house is quite close to the airport, and he’s been fascinated by watching them soaring overhead ever since he was tiny.

‘Look mummy! An airplane…’

‘Look mummy, another one!’

This his constant refrain, whilst he’s playing outside in our garden…

And although his enthusiasm is contagious for a while, it can wear pretty thin quite quickly during the summertime at peak season.

So anyway, just imagine how excited he was by finding out he was actually going to be travelling on a big plane to America this week.

And unfortunately, I made the massive mum error of telling him several days before we went, which meant that he literally didn’t stop talking about it in the run up… !

‘We’re going on an airplane soon’ he would keep repeating over and over to his dad and I, as well as to staff at his nursery, the neighbours, the supermarket check-out lady, the postman, and pretty much anyone else who would listen!

And once our actual flight day arrived, he relished every single moment of the experience too; the bag checking in, the security scanners, the airport hangers, walking onto the runway, climbing up the plane steps, the fold out table in front of his seat, the safety instructions, the take-off, the landing, the food tray and even the airplane toilet…

He was just soooooooo excited by it all!

And that’s when it first occurred to me that I have become a frequent flyer.

I suffer from frequent flyer syndrome…

Here was my little boy, wide-eyed and attentive to all of the seemingly boring and innocuous flight details which I just tend to treat like an inconvenience or hassle.

It’s often said that familiarity breeds complacency, and I think it can be absolutely true.

And it occurs to me that what’s true of frequent flying is probably true about how I approach my relationship with God often too.

I mean, it’s fairly easy to feel excited about talking to God when you first become a Christian, when it’s a fresh adventure, or it all still feels quite new.

But over time it can all become so familiar and it can be easy to lose that sense of awe about the fact that the God of the universe wants to hang out with me. What started out as a passion can almost turn into a chore, or just another thing to tick off during the day.

Am I on my own here? I doubt it… because most of us are like the rest of us.

And I don’t know about you, but I really don’t want to behave like a frequent flyer in any areas of my life, but especially when it comes to my faith.

I don’t want to show up to my life each day and just to go through the motions… I don’t want to miss the wonder or awe of it all just because I am busy or distracted or over-familiar.

The fact is that just because I’ve flown before, doesn’t make a plane any less of an awesome feat of human engineering, which opens up the whole world to me.

And just because I’ve heard His voice before, doesn’t make the fact that the God of the universe wants to turn up and speak to me again today any less incredible either.

The Bible tells us that His mercies are new every morning, and I don’t want to let any of them pass me by because of apathy or over-familiarity. And I want to keep noticing and experiencing them afresh.

I want to be wide eyed and attentive to every little thing, just like my baby boy.

And I want to practice being more fully present in my own life, attentive to everyone and being a bit more fully present.

Will you join me in this?

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