Father David Epps's picture

Last month when I was flying home from another state, my flight was canceled. The cause, I was told, was the weather. There were no other flights out that day so I had to retrieve my car from the rental agency and find a place to stay for the night. Since I had an appointment I really needed to keep the next day, I reported to the airport at 0430 (4:30 a.m., half an hour before the Marines wake up at Parris Island) in order to catch the first flight of the day.

Last Tuesday, once again trying to get home on the last flight of the day, I was told the flight was delayed. They weren’t certain how long the delay would be so I settled in for the long haul. During the course of the delay I answered 150 emails, talked to six people on the telephone, wrote six news releases for our diocesan website, had dinner, and caught up on some other things that needed doing.

I have learned that no amount of disappointment, of complaining, of swearing, of holding one’s breath, or huffing and puffing makes one bit of difference. The flight is still canceled or it is still delayed.

You’d think people would just realize that “it is what it is” and relax. Besides, if the people who fly that aircraft aren’t comfortable getting it off the ground, whether due to the weather or mechanical problems, I do not want to fly either. So far, I have always made it to my destination alive and well.

I get on a plane about 30 times a year. For the most part, it’s a fairly pleasant experience. Once in awhile I’ll run into a grumpy ticket agent, a harried flight attendant, or an overworked security person, but not often. The unpleasant people — the difficult folks — are those passengers whose plans are not going the way they want them to go.

Several months ago, a woman’s bags didn’t make it with her to her destination. The airlines will almost always find the bags and do whatever it takes to get them to the passenger. My bags were lost on a trip to Utah. It took almost 24 hours, but the airline got them to me and I was 150 miles from the airport.

This woman, however, erupted in a fit of screaming and profanity. The young lady behind the counter was apologetic and assured the woman that the airline would make things right — all to no avail. The woman stormed out into the parking lot and continued her rant there. Her bags were still lost and her tantrum didn’t speed up the process by one second.

Sometimes I’ve seen people berate and insult the TSA people. Yes, I know that it’s inconvenient to take off the shoes, put the coat in a container, empty all the pockets, put the liquids in bottles of 3 ounces or less, send the baggage through the scanner, and occasionally, endure the “wand.”

But these folks have helped to keep bad people off the airplanes ever since Sept. 11. “Yeah, but they searched a 90-year-old lady in a wheelchair.” Well, good. Whenever the day comes that they don’t do that, you can be sure the international murderers will notice that and start to recruit some poor grandma in a wheelchair to do their evil work.

So, the next time you’re in an airport and plans are disrupted, relax. Enjoy the extra time. Get some work done. Redeem the time. Read a book or a magazine. Make some phone calls. Catch up on email. Or maybe even write an article for a newspaper.

That’s what I did — but the plane is here now and they just called my flight so I have to go.

Delays — in the airport and in life — are what you make of them.

[David Epps is the founding pastor of Christ the King Church, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277, between Peachtree City and Newnan. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. He also serves as the bishop to the Mid-South Diocese (ICCEC) and is the mission pastor of Christ the King Church in Champaign, IL. He may be contacted at A website is available at]

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