What Happens When You Change Seats on a Plane

TIA 017

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

When my flight from Tulsa to Tampa stopped briefly in Houston last night, I decided to stay on the plane to save my window seat. The plane would be taking off again quickly anyway. Since the turbulence did not allow for any kind of service to Houston, I asked the stewardess for a drink.

As people started boarding, a small family was trying to get seated near me. The father was telling his kids where to sit as there was no room for them all to sit together. I was the only one in my row, so after spotting another available window seat, I offered the father my seat so he could sit with his kids. He graciously accepted the offer. As I got up to move, my earphones I was holding along with my drink got caught on the seat belt causing me to jerk and spill my drink across the seats. The stewardess quickly came to dry off the seats, while a passenger across the isle held my cup so I could free myself from my tangled web.

I was apologizing for making a mess but everyone was so friendly, and thanked me for changing seats. I thought to myself how cool that instead of berating me for being a klutz everyone just expressed their gratitude for me making what they thought was a nice gesture. They only saw the good in me instead of the klutz in me. I told myself I need to be that way with others. I need to see only good in others instead of their mistakes.

I made my way over to the window seat on the other side. A gentleman was sitting in the isle seat, and he quickly let me in. Turns out he was on his way home to the Plant City area. I told him I work with a church in Plant City. He asked me which one and I told him the Plant City Seventh-day Adventist Church and where it was located. He then began asking me about the Bible and how to know the truth. We had a very interesting talk for the remainder of the flight. He told me he did not agree with me about everything but my Adventist perspective was much more logical than what he had been hearing elsewhere. I told him that was fine, the Holy Spirit would lead him. I did point out through the course of conversation that 2 Peter 1:21 tells us that the Holy Spirit moved the men of God to write, and the Holy Spirit would not contradict what He moved them to write.  I told him I did not think it was just coincidence that I changed seats and ended up next to him and he enthusiastically agreed.

Though there was still much we disagreed on, when we landed and parted ways we both agreed that we really enjoyed our visit and were glad to meet each other. Without being too pushy I made sure he knew where my church was and where he could find me again.

I firmly believe and so does he, that the Holy Spirit caused me to change seats. The Holy Spirit probably did not cause me to spill my drink everywhere in the process, but even tough I made a total mess of things the Holy Spirit turned into something meaningful. As I exited the plane everyone was all smiles and saw me as a nice guy who helped out a family instead of a klutz that made a mess. In 2020 instead of seeing the mess in people I want to see the good in them too.

Want to Get Away?

I am writing tonight from the slightly overcast but still beautiful Tampa Bay area.

In the United States, we have an airline, called Southwest, who ask on their commercials, “Want to get away?” In each commercial someone will find themselves in an embarrassing situation, where they would gladly fly to the other side of the world and hide under a rock. The airline then suggests, getting on their plane to get away from it all.

In Mark 5 we read about a man who was in a very embarrassing situation before his conversion. When I tell you everything that happened with this man, you will agree with me, that after his conversion, he would gladly hop on an airplane to get away. However, Jesus sends him on a mission trip-back home!

For sake of time, I am going to highlight the story but you can read it for yourself here.

Sadly, demon activity has not changed much over the years. This man is hanging out in tombs, obsessed with death, much like those controlled by demons today. Jesus is life, and when we don’t have Jesus, all that’s left is death. He refused to be “tamed”, “taught” or “controlled.” The exact words may vary based on your favorite translation, but the idea is the same. He was not going to be bound by Biblical standards, like so many today, who do not want to hear what is right and wrong.

He cut himself. Today many cut themselves trying to find healing, not realizing, Jesus was already cut and wounded to bring them healing. The demoniac was tormented by the presence of Jesus. Today, an unconverted person does not want to be where Jesus can be found. They want nothing to do with Bible study, prayer meeting or family worship.

None of these demonic demonstrations phase Jesus. He heals the man and he becomes converted.  In verse 15 it tells us after his conversion, the man is clothed and in his right mind. Luke 8 tells us this man was naked at the beginning of the story. Mark tells us at the end that after the conversion he is clothed. Another sign of demonic activity is wanting to dress improperly or not at all. When we become converted we dress appropriately.

Now that the man is converted we see that he wants to be with Jesus. He tells Him in verse 18 that he wants to be with Jesus. Now I am imagining that if I had been seen by my  community, running around naked in a cemetery, that I would now like to jump on a Southwest airlines jet, or any jet for that matter and get away!  I think a nice mission trip to the other side of the planet is now in order, so I can preach the gospel about as far away as I can get from the people who saw me running around a cemetery naked, cutting myself.  But in verse 19 Jesus sends him on a mission trip-back home! Jesus tells the man to go back home and tell what wonderful things Jesus has done for him. Friend, if Jesus has done wonderful things for you, if He really has changed your life, you don’t need to get away. While foreign mission trips are fun, fruitful and rewarding, chances are Jesus may have a mission field for you right in your very home. Jesus doesn’t send everyone to the other side of the planet, as much as we may sometimes like that idea, especially after an embarrassing moment when we want to get away. Jesus may have a mission trip planned for you right in your very home.  The people saw the change in this man. So much so that in verse 15 it says it scared them or made them afraid! It must have been a real shock when the reality of what Jesus had done in this man’s life was seen.

If you run to the other side of the world people won’t see the change. If Jesus has changed your life, you don’t need to be afraid. You can proudly go back home, clothed with the righteousness of Christ and in your right mind, and tell them what wonderful things Jesus has done for you.

To go to the Sabbath School Network click here. To download the SS lessons to your cell phone click here.