Sometimes I am a brat. And sometimes The Lord is kind to me in spite of it.
Today has been crazy in the very best of ways. Trey and I have been in Michigan for a staff training all weekend and were scheduled fly back home out of Detroit this afternoon. When we checked in, the Delta kiosk notified us that the flight was overbooked and asked if we wanted to be put on the volunteer list to take another flight. We chose the voucher amount for which we would be willing to give up our flight if need be and headed to the gate.
Of course, complete chaos greeted us when we arrived. The terminal was packed and every passenger had a sour expression on his or her face. Yuck. When our name was called to talk to the desk about giving up our seat, the only alternative flight for us to take was tomorrow morning, so we declined the offer. The voucher amount we had agreed to really wasn't worth giving up an afternoon flight for a night in an airport hotel and an early morning flight the next day.
So we boarded the plane and settled in. Every livid passenger was loaded and then came the announcement that the flight was still overbooked and that they were still looking for passengers to give up their seats for that morning flight. Trey and I looked at each other and decided to check in with the stewardess and see if they had upped the voucher offer. Of course they had, because no one was budging on that flight, and so we jumped on it. We grabbed our belongings, got off the plane, and soon had vouchers in our hands for twice the amount we had initially bargained for!
Now, this thing happens all of the time. Flights are overbooked and folks deal with inconvenience in order get a free flight out of it. Why was today so incredible for me?
For the past three months, my husband and I have been wrestling over whether we can afford to go to Europe next summer. We don't have tons of money, but we have a lot of frequent flyer miles and both sets of parents will be in the UK. From one perspective, it's not infeasible for us to go visit. From the other perspective, it's not the best use of our money. And this is the heart of the problem. How do you know how to make these decisions? What is wise and what is frivolous? What is practical and what is miserly?
Trey and I have stood on, exchanged, and danced around both sides of the issue for months, and it has not been easy. We have laughed about it and we have cried about it (ok, let's be honest, mostly I've cried about it.) In the end, we have learned so much about each other in the process. It's amazing what something like this teaches you about your spouse. This has been one of the issues that hasn't been serious enough to pour time and energy into, nor has it been small enough to just laugh it off. And sometimes those are the very hardest.
Apart from learning a ton about my husband, his priorities and the way he thinks, I've mainly learned a lot about my brattiness. In particular, I've learned a lot about my brattiness with the Lord. There have been very legitimate things for me to be upset or frustrated about concerning this decision, but those have been really small compared to the great many things I've gotten upset about that were not worth it. And I don't think I really saw that until today, when for no apparent reason, God gave us exactly what we needed to be able to do this special thing we really wanted to do.
God blessed us today and I don't know why. Going to Europe is not a need. Going to Europe is not particularly beneficial to us. I've been a pretty big brat about it a lot. This story is not an example of God taking care of your needs exactly when you most needed him to. This isn't about God fulfilling his promises, because we all know God never promised we would get every frivolous thing we ever wanted.
Rather this story is about God giving one of his daughters something good when she totally didn't deserve it. And that's the incredible God we serve - a God who gives extraordinary gifts and blessings to people who truly are not worthy of them.