Monday, 5 September 2016

Waiting to Fly by Janey Clamp

There was once - according to the Reader's Digest - a retired couple from Margate who were taking a holiday at a UK tourist spot. Whilst there, they were attracted by a sign that advertised Mystery Tours by coach. Thinking this would be a good way to get to know the area, they duly signed up. Imagine their reaction when they found themselves conveyed back to Margate! In stoic British fashion, they popped home, had a nice cup of tea, then caught the coach back to continue their holiday.

As Christian believers, we know our final destination: Heaven! Woohoo! But in the meantime we're on a journey, which some days feels like we're on a mystery tour, and other days like we're not even moving. Do you ever feel like you're stuck in the Departure Lounge?  There's a ticket in our hand which has got rather dog-eared from being held for so long. We're waiting. Waiting for the sign to change so we can board.

Visiting a different church recently, I heard an excellent sermon on waiting for God's promises to be fulfilled, and I share the preacher's illustration here. You are waiting at the airport: four hours in one hall, then moving through to a different area and hanging around another hour or so. All the time, you can see the gate numbers changing and people around you getting up to board their flight. After so long waiting, your patience is exhausted. You march up to the desk and demand to be put on the next plane to leave. No, you don't care where it's going just as long as you're not waiting a single moment longer.

How ridiculous is that? The rest of your family continue onto the planned holiday resort and have a lovely time. They considered the wait a crucial part of the process: it is all worth it once they arrive. For you, however, your impatience has landed you in (the wrong) foreign territory on your own: your experiences and potential memories entirely different.

Waiting can be frustrating. Initial enthusiasm can soon wane. You can even get so distracted by the waiting room, so to speak, that you forget what you're waiting for and fail to register when your name is finally called. Perhaps, like our impatient traveller above, you have been tempted to take matters into your own hands to avoid the wait. Wouldn't it be better to look out of the window and watch the planes take off, rejoicing that others around you get to fly? Just make sure you're ready and waiting when your time comes!

Jane Clamp is Creative Writer in Residence at BBC Radio Norfolk and on the Thought of the Day team at Premier Radio. She is Groups Coordinator for ACW and runs the ACW small group Brecks, Fens and Pens in West Norfolk.


  1. Great illustration Janey. I know I've totally ended up in the wrong place in the past by getting impatient and trying to make things happen. Thankfully, my Pilot is always able to either use these experiences for my good or rectify them completely. :)
    This is a bit like a modern-day version of the parable of the 10 virgins, isn't it? Being ready is so important.

  2. Yes, and not being impatient in the waiting. Such a hard lesson sometimes!

  3. You are not kidding, Janey!I wonder if I will ever learn it. Of course it is good to see others fly off. I applaud them and wish them well. But does it ever feel as if your ticket has run out..? Maybe the airline has gone bust..? Perhaps we can take this analogy too far!

    1. Indeed, Aggie! I'm prone to over-thinking at the best of times, so I'd better not go there!!

  4. I love the story about the couple who ended up back home!