I’m staring out at a rain-lashed runway, waiting to fly home from home. I hate flying – even short-haul. Mentally I’ve already kissed goodbye to my nearest and dearest, so I’m distracting myself by people-watching and pretending I’m in the arrivals rather than departure lounge.
Airport terminals are twilight zones: human hinterlands where everyone’s in limbo.. waiting to arrive or waiting to depart, checking-out or checking-in, picking-up or setting-down. Crocodiles of children marshalled by anxious parents. Couples, hugging, arguing and crying. Eddying waves of people, ebbing and surging, collecting in pockets and spilling from tarmac into taxis.
Perhaps it’s just me, but sometimes this is exactly how I live. Wandering in the departure lounge, and killing time till I reach the final destination.
In one sense, this is right. The Bible reminds us there’s more to life than just this world – and that’s a Very Good Thing. The day is coming when every skerrick of creation will be gloriously redeemed. An end to death and depression and confusion and loneliness and fear. When we will fall to our knees in wonder at the beauty of the risen Jesus.
That day is coming. But it’s not yet here. So whilst I look towards it, how am I to live? By watching others from the sidelines?
It’s tempting. My opponents look like giants. I’m weak and I’m tired. It’s easier to keep my head down than risk injury or pain.
But I don’t want to waste my time here.
What I do – what we all do – today, and every moment – counts. Life’s too precious to lose it treading water.
Time to board the plane and re-enter the fray.