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There's Been a Gate Change...

October 08, 2014

 Reblogged from: UMC Lead

airport
 
Today we have a guest post by Austin Rinehart (bio above). If you would like to be considered for a guest post, please feel free to email us at leadumc@gmail.com.
 
An airport isn’t an ideal place to find a quiet place to simply sit and be still. All around you the hustle and bustle of a place connecting people across the globe doesn’t offer much solitude or rest. You run from terminal to terminal playing an international game of hide and go seek with airplanes, crews and gates. You put on your headphones in an attempt to drown out the constant murmur from the crowd, the laughter from cell-phone conversations and the anger rising as a cancellation or gate change is announced over the loud speakers. You keep your head down, hoping not to draw too much attention to yourself. You search out a seat in a corner away from everyone and you cringe at the moment someone passes up the three empty seats on the next row over just to sit right next to you. Airports do not typically foster the kind of community I am used to or hope to participate in. Yet in the midst of all the chaos a glimmer of peace and community begins to break through…
 
As I sit in the Chili’s in Terminal 3 of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport , I look around at the people. I see an elderly couple sharing a salad while talking about their trip to see their grandkids. I see the businessman on the phone with clients as he eats his overpriced salad chatting about Da Bears and how the heathens from up north “put it on us” last week. I overhear conversations from my neighbors about what they are going to do in the city …. And then it hits me. Community…peace… a quiet place… can be found even here in this place of seemingly endless chaos and disorder.
 
You know, I don’t run across the kind of place Jesus talked about when he had to get away from all the chaos and be with the Father. I long for those types of places. Even though we get no detailed description, I imagine a meadow full of chirping birds and a gently flowing stream lulling me away into a deeper peace and silence that I am normally accustomed to. Lying in my bed at night listening to the EL murmur away, the conductor announcing, “watch the doors,” and of course all the flights queuing up for landing around Lake Michigan I get lost in all the noise…in all the chaos.
 
The Good News for us in the midst of the chaos is just that – there is Good News in the midst of the chaos. I am harkened back to the creation story where God’s Spirit hovered over the chaos and out of chaos came something that was “very good.”
 
We live in a culture that is constantly go, go, go! We rarely have times to slow down and rest. It is my conviction that our responsibility as people of faith is to find those places of rest so that we might reenergize, refocus and reclaim that identity we have from God. This isn’t always easy – finding peace in the midst of the chaos is difficult, but it can be done.
 
As I sit here finishing up my sizzling plate of chicken fajitas I am reminded of those words from the Gospel according to Mark, “’Come off by yourselves; let’s take a break and get a little rest.’ For there was constant coming and going. They didn’t even have time to eat” (MSG). My prayer for us is that we can find those places of rest in the midst of the chaos – whether those be in the midst of conversations, relationships, phone-calls, snapchats, or maybe a sizzling plate of chicken fajitas – and may they be “very good.”
 
God’s Deepest Peace,
 
Austin