“I’ve worked at Cape Canaveral for 23 years. We have 3 more shuttle launches then my future is really uncertain.”
Gary was seated next to me flying to Atlanta. The end of the space shuttle program is hitting central Florida pretty hard. As I’ve written before, Delta Airline’s seat assignment system is God’s appointment system. So out of the 200 people on this flight, Gary was my appointment today.
I continued in the Explorer phase, finding out about his work, family, hobbies, interests. Gary recently flew in a World War 2 vintage airplane for 30 minutes of pure delight (which I’d love to do). He’s worked in the space industry for 23 years (which was an early dream for this engineer-in-budding ever since watching Shepard, Grissom, and Glenn on little portable TVs in my 4th and 5th grade classroom).
I asked how he was working though his future, handling the uncertainty. I asked if there was a spiritual aspect to his life.
Moving into the Guide role, I moved the conversation towards spiritual topics.
It turns out that Gary is involved in a good church fellowship. He is helping the 30 people on his launch team to work through meaning and purpose during uncertainties. We talked further during the hour flight.
So, my divine appointment wasn’t to help someone find God, but to help someone who is helping others during difficult times. You just never know what God has in mind until you accept the appointment and start Exploring.
(PS This blog post is being written using WordPress for Android on my next flight to Dallas. I have an empty seat next to me and the guy the next seat over has earbuds and a book, kind of looks like he’s hung out a do-not-disturb sign. Do I only have one appointment today? I have another hour or so to explore what God has for this leg of the journey.)
(PPS I was able to break through the earbuds and book. We had a very interesting conversation. He is a 30 year veteran pilot of major airlines, former Air Force fighter pilot, and recently separated from his wife. He was willing to talk about “theology”, but he continually deflected my efforts to get personal about his spiritual life. But it was an appointment which I kept. I recall an early definition that success in witnessing is simply taking the initiative to share Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God.)