It's never happened before and it may never happen again. Yesterday, I flew back from St. Louis to Houston. As always, I flew on Southwest Airlines. Arriving only an hour before the flight, I wasn't sure what boarding group I would be placed in but I made the A, or first, section. If you've never flown Southwest, first in line is first in walking down the tunnel into the plane. Our flight originated in Louisville so we had to wait until it arrived and docked. I came out of the bathroom and saw our plane in place. Amazingly, no one had claimed a spot in line! I walked up and for the only time in my life, I was the first person in all the boarding groups! Immediately, as soon as I took my spot, the line formed behind me. Talk about being a trend-setter! I was so proud. The man handling boarding passes even let me keep mine to hand to the flight attendant so she would know the regular boarding had commenced. I had my pick of seats and selected a window chair behind the right wing. I must confess there was a tremendous feeling of satisfaction in knowing what I had accomplished in my boarding coup.
We like to be first, don't we? We see it in little kids at school who imagine being first at the water fountain somehow makes the water more abundant or sweeter tasting. Jesus cautioned about desiring supremacy in several parables and situations with his men. There is no virtue in our placement in most scenarios. Take my flight. The plane was half-full so being first...rewarded me with the same seat as if I were fiftieth. The real kicker came as my journey was concluding. The good friends who were picking me up.... forgot. I deplaned at 2:00 and hopped in their car at 5:30 PM. Being the first passenger, excluding families with small children, to walk onto Flight 71 netted me three-and-a-half hours of waiting in the 100 percent humidity of the passenger pickup area of Hobby Airport. What was it that Jesus said? Something about the first shall be last and vice versa? He must have known my itinerary.
Applicable quote of the day:
"I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets. It seems to me that they are wonderful things for other people to go on."
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