General CBF

Overlooking Next Door

I was flying from Nairobi to Berlin but had to fly through Paris’ Charles De Gaul airport to get there.  I didn’t like that because my connection time in Paris was only 70 minutes.  It’s a big airport and my plane landed in one of the newer areas which required me to navigate the entire length of the airport to reach my terminal for the Berlin connection. Fortunately, I knew the airport and made the decision to walk versus taking the train and bus connections.  (It required more horse-power…or donkey power for those who know me, but it saves you time.)  This still required passport control and lots of walking to make it to my gate.  I power-walked the whole way and made it to the gate as the last passengers were boarding the flight to Berlin!  Whew!

I showed my boarding card from Nairobi and was waved on to catch the others.  To my surprise we ended up walking down winding steps to catch a bus.  The driver took off as soon as I jumped aboard and we took off meandering for what seemed an eternity to reach the right plane.  Along the way I recognized familiar terminals and signs marking our route.  To my complete surprise at the end of the drive, we stopped next to a plane parked next door to the plane I’d flown 4,000 miles on from Nairobi to Paris!  

I felt cheated…how much time effort and anxious moments had been wasted during my hectic journey through the airport to reach my designated gate?  After boarding the plane, storing my carry-on-luggage and settling in for the relatively short 1 ½ hr. flight to Berlin, I reflected on my journey.  I wondered how much I regularly miss next door to me that I overlook because my sights are set on remote locations and foreign lands?  I don’t think I’m alone in this.  I think I’m going to schedule some time to encounter my neighbors.  It’s not rocket science.

3 thoughts on “Overlooking Next Door

  1. Thank you for this reflection – as a coordinator of a local mission center, it’s interesting to see how fired up our congregations get about out of state missions, yet don’t realize what’s in their backyard.

  2. Thanks, Jim, for the reminder to look in our own neighborhood as well as other countries. I’ve been in the Paris airport with a bunch of women and I thought we’d never get to the connecting flight. In fact, we almost didn’t!

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