Journey To Paradise

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

There are two kinds of travelers: ones who love it and the ones who despise it and just want to stay on solid ground. I would fall into the latter category. I keep waiting for someone to invent a safe teleportation machine, so that I can immediately get to my destination without the in between journey. Until then, I’m stuck taking road trips in a packed car or flying overseas.

I LOVE our family vacations in Kerala a.k.a. “God’s Own Country”. It’s my personal paradise. However, I ABHOR/HATE/DESPISE the journey to get there. It’s one of the most arduous journeys imaginable. Here’s the play-by-play of my typical journey to the Motherland:

  • Leave the house at some ungodly hour before the break of dawn and head to the local international airport. Check the bags, go through security, and wait to board.
  • The flight on plane #1 is not so bad! Everyone is excited and energized! I get to enjoy a nice nap, some food, and maybe a movie. This is a 10 hour flight. Thankfully, the turbulence isn’t too bad, but when we land I start to feel a little queasy.
  • We land somewhere in Europe (UK or Germany), and my internal clock is messed up. Got to grab our burdensome luggage, go through security, and recheck the bags. Then it’s the waiting game…We try to sleep on the uncomfortable seats to no avail. Irritation over anything and everything is simmering under the surface.
  • The flight on plane #2 is not good. The turbulence is intermittent, and that earlier nausea is 10x worse. Good thing my mom was prepared and gave me a Dramamine before we took off, or I would be hurling chunks of the lasagna I had from plane #1. [Sorry that’s really graphic.] We are on that metal contraption for another 8 hours.
  • We land somewhere in the Middle East, and we are at the point where we can’t even stand to look at each other’s faces. Repeat the process of rechecking luggage and security. All the excitement from earlier seems like a faint memory or dream.
  • Last flight is on plane #3 to Kerala (Trivandrum or Cochin). This plane is smaller, so the turbulence is worse of course, but our only solace is that the flight is roughly 3 hours. We’re almost there!
  • After we land and see the familiar palm trees scattered everywhere, we all catch our second wind. WE ARE HERE! (Well, sort of.) We get our entire luggage onto two carts and search for our driver, and we pile everything into the rental van. My nausea has a moment to subside, but then we have a 5 hour drive ahead of us before we reach Ammachee’s house.
  • After traversing the WORST ROADS EVER in the dark, we finally reach the house. After 24+ hours, I don’t even know how to articulate the joy I feel of reaching my final destination. God Bless Ammachee because even she single-handedly has a feast of the best Indian food ever prepared as soon as we settle in.

If you somehow managed to actually read through that, congratulations! I am impressed and very proud of you dear reader! The point I was trying to painstakingly make is that our journey to Paradise can feel like eternity sometimes. Think of each major chapter of your life as a flight on a plane. Some chapters are long. Others are really short. You will face seasons of having turbulence, waiting during a layover, feeling scared for your life, and being just straight up exhausted.

Sometimes a flight can get delayed or canceled, and we suddenly get inundated with anxiety and frustration because we missed the connecting flight. Don’t worry. You just have to catch the next flight. Regardless of how you get to the destination, you MOST ASSUREDLY will arrive exactly when you are supposed to because we have the greatest Captain leading the way. No matter how bumpy the ride, the greatest Destination in all of eternity is well worth the wait and the hardship.

Make sure you have a ticket! (Hint: it’s already been paid on your behalf!)

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