March 1, 2010
Our Journey Home
Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Minnesota to attend my father’s eightieth birthday party. Our entire family could not go, so I took my son Jesse. Jesse is one of the most enjoyable children you could ever meet. Though he is now fourteen, everything is just as exciting for him as if he were a young child. Perhaps part of that is due to his having an extra twenty-first chromosome, commonly called Down syndrome.
Jesse had never flown in a plane before, and as the time for our adventure drew closer, so did his excitement and anxiety. Because he does not bury his feelings, Jesse’s anticipation was obvious as he counted down the days until our trip. Saturday morning came very early, but he was up without a murmur. He got dressed and grabbed his backpack, which had been packed and repacked several times the day before. Mom drove us to the airport, and after a big hug and kiss, we were off. Boarding passes in hand, we made it through the complicated security check, Jesse flirting with the security guard all the while. They called our flight, and down the long, cold tunnel we went until we ended up in row 10, seats A and B, on flight 1291.
Jesse chose the window seat, but immediately shut the blind on the window. He said he was too scared to look out, but every once in a while he would open the shutter just a bit, peek out and pronounce that we were almost there. In reality we had not yet left the runway. The take-off made him quite anxious and he grabbed my hand, but once in the air he lifted the shutter and announced that we were almost at Grandpa’s house. The flight was about an hour long, and Jesse enjoyed every minute of it, including the complimentary soda and pretzels and, of course, flirting with the flight attendant.
Landing in Minneapolis went fine, except for the turbulence we encountered just before touching down. With the first bump of the plane Jesse wrapped his arms around me and just about took my head off, but when the plane landed he was fine and proclaimed that he had never really been scared. He opened the shutter and announced that we were just about there.
As we continued on our journey in a rental car, Jesse was still convinced that we were just about there, even after an hour of traveling on cold, snowy roads. Finally we drove into the driveway. Jesse jumped out of the car and through the open door. There was Grandpa, waiting with his arms open wide. With a jump and a hug that just about toppled Grandpa, Jesse was home and in the arms of someone who loved him dearly.
This trip was very similar to the last journey that any of us will take. It will be a new journey for us, and we will experience at the same time both great excitement and much anxiety. We know however, that we will be met by the loving arms of our Father.
We probably won’t get to heaven in an airplane or a rental car—God uses different means of transportation. For some it may be cancer; for others, pulmonary disease. Still others will arrive quickly by heart failure. These are all vehicles that most have not traveled in before, but the destination is the same, the loving arms of our Father.
So take heart, we are all on a journey to God. Despite how we get there, may we still be filled with wonderful excitement as we lift the shutter of life and find out that we are almost home.