Saturday, March 1, 2008

Glad to Be Home

I returned home today after traveling most of the week through the Intermountain District with the District SDMI leadership team for the annual SDMI training event. After Monday evening at SLC First, we went to Twin Falls, Nampa First, and Baker City. We had opportunity to talk with lots of folks who love God and love others, and it was wonderful to see them light up as they caught the vision of "Intentional Discipleship."

I flew back today. A curly-haired blond kid about three years old was sitting in the row behind me. The family was going to Disneyland, and still had several hours of travel ahead of them. The bond between dad and son was apparent simply from their conversations, and I also admired the dad's efforts (which paid off) to keep this appropriately excitable youngster strapped to his seat and not disrupting the rest of the people.

The flight went quite well until the final twenty minutes or so, when it became the most turbulent I've ever experienced in an airplane. As we approached Salt Lake City, the normal swaying motions became pronounced and then escalated, suddenly becoming both much more frequent and much more severe. It felt a bit like doing aerobatics in a Boeing 737. An unfamiliar and surprisingly loud noise developed rather quickly around the left wing. Conversations throughout the craft quieted, and we held more tightly to the armrests. The woman across the aisle appeared uncomfortable, as if about to vomit. It felt like we were losing altitude faster than usual. I didn't see any signs that the pilot had lost control of the plane, but also didn't see a lot of signs that the pilot had full control of it, either. It felt like the aircraft could easily sway a little too much at the wrong time as we approached for landing, and I found myself looking again at the instructions printed on over-wing emergency exit door a few feet away.

The little guy behind us could hardly contain himself. "Wheeee!"

Much to my relief, we landed safely. The wheels hadn't been on the ground more than a few seconds when I heard a little voice behind me: "Let's do it again, Daddy!"

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