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Sojourning

Reflections

Every experienced traveler must have a time to rest and reflect on how they have progressed along the way. Each encounter is documented as a stepping stone to achieve destiny. So today, I wish to give you some inside information, that inspired me to begin writing this blog in the first place.

I was born in Belhaven, a VERY tiny fishing town in the state of North Carolina. My childhood memories were about a beautiful place where I encountered magnificent splendor at every twist and turn. We lived near an inlet called “Pamlico Sound,” and when night time fell, everything was so still, the ebbing of the tide could be heard everywhere. The grass was green and lush in summertime, and the ever present smell of the ocean was pure and clean. Stars sparkled with such brilliance, that they extinguished the light of even the largest diamond. Frequent rainstorms replenished the earth with with an array of colorful flowers and provided the best vegetables for our family, that my father harvested in our backyard garden.

There was a bridge that connected Belhaven to the other side of the “Pamlico Sound”, and my family very seldom ventured too far from the outskirts of that bridge. However, there was a burning desire within me to know the world beyond that boundary.

One day my father purchased a volume of Shakespeare from a yard sale and placed them conveniently beside the night table in my bedroom. Maybe he sensed the spirit of adventure in me, when I sat out early one Saturday morning, to find the end of the rainbow. Little did he know that would be the beginning of a journey that has never ceased.

My Paternal Grandmother would read the Bible to me every night and it dawned on me that some of the same places mentioned in Shakespeare, were also mentioned in the bible. Immediately, I developed a love for God and marveled at the teachings of Jesus and how much he loved me. Strangely ,this reinforced my inclination to travel the world.

Fast forward to the year of 1974, when my airline career began. Each interaction with people of ALL NATIONALITIES, presented an opportunity for encouragement and sincere love, even if there was a language barrier.

God used my job as a tool (calling), to be a light for HIS love, mercy and grace, all over the world!

My mentor Dr. Myles Munroe said, “Your job is what you are paid to do, your work is what you are called to do.”

THIS BLOG IS A WORK OF GOD THAT COMPARES ALL THE OCCURENCES OF AIR TRAVEL TO WHAT WE CONFRONT IN LIFE.

It is based on principles of the word of God, so look deeply into each posting, even if a scripture is not written. (Principle is defined as a fundamental truth that serves as a foundation for a belief).

It’s been quite a journey from that tiny town, but remember “journey is the essence of destiny.”

Everyone’s journey is different, but we must ALL allow the process of time, for it is divine preparation to fulfil the Master’s plan.

Remain on this journey with me and share some thoughts about your process, together we are sure to make an impact on the world.

Embracing Change

Reroute

I can remember many times during my airline career as a Flight Attendant, being sent to an unintended destination due to severe storms or some type of aircraft mechanical problem.

A ten hour work day would quickly become sixteen hours on duty! Then came the most dreaded assignment relayed to crew members from Flight Crew Scheduling- “You have been rerouted to another city.” Our expectations were shattered, especially if we had plans for enjoying a great escape to a favored metropolitan destination.

For example, my flight crew was prepared to land in a more desirable city, but realizing we had to accept the alternate assignment, led us to seize this opportunity by utilizing some hidden treasures in ourselves that had never been exposed. Some by products that came into view were patience, creativity, gratitude and determination.

We used our tools of annual training to navigate the challenges of those changes that necessitated employing a different operation. Highly effective interpersonal skills were very important to help passengers deal with missed flights, lost baggage, etc. We had the opportunity to apply the knowledge we had accumulated from our experiences throughout our tenure of service.

The entire process of a reroute demanded that we adapted to each stage using a different approach. The adaptation process would consist of downgrading or upgrading to a different aircraft, which in some instances an aircraft no one had ever even set foot in. Additionally, we’d switch airport terminals/gates sporadically, two to three times within a matter of minutes, or just sat on the tarmac with passengers for six hours or more.

I’ve come to understand that in my life’s journey, humans adapt to almost anything, but what became essentially clear, is that everything in life must change – often times for a greater purpose.

Changes are REROUTES in our journey to help us discover and rediscover, our strengths, frailties, and capabilities. This is why we must embrace change and grasp the notion that we are transformed by how we adapt. In most circumstances, our minds must be retrained to center on how each experience qualifies us to be productive at any stage of our lives.

Author, Pastor and motivational speaker John Maxwell says, “Change is inevitable, growth is optional.”

You and I can choose to embrace change and not neglect its true value. If the seasons of our lives do not encounter change, we could not appreciate the blessings in each season as an opportunity to impact the world, with our mission, assigned by God.

Adapting To Change

Jet Stream

If you are a weather groupie like me, you are extremely fascinated by changes in weather patterns and how they cause us to tailor our everyday lives.

The phenomenon responsible for these changes is referred to as the “JET STREAM.”

Let’s define this phrase before we move on. Simply put, Jet Streams are bands of strong wind that generally blow from opposite directions all across the earth. They impact weather, air travel and many other things that take place in our atmosphere.

Aviators must calculate flight plans that require adjusting fuel, airspeed and altitude regulated by the intensity and position of the Jet Stream. These calculations will often result in early/late arrival to the intended destination, avoidance of severe turbulence, alternate routes, or in some instances, a flight diversion. (landing in an unintended destination)

When we are faced with Jet streams of life, it is imperative to redesign our course. One thing is certain, Jet streams will always be with us-around the globe and in our souls!

Think about how you will adapt when you encounter strong winds of life blowing from one day to the next day or even from one minute to the next minute.

Jesus told His disciples of the Jet Streams they would encounter in the world. He charted their paths by giving them tools to help them adapt-truth, joy and peace. These would help them navigate successfully around the issues that challenged them.

In the last verse of John 16:33 Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Take one day at a time, to determine in prayer the adjustments you need to construct, to continue on this journey.

Jet streams of life will propel us or slow us down or send us in another direction altogether. We have the capability given to us by faith in God which allows the fine tuning of our destination!

Landing Approach

Proper Perspectives

We began our journey with the realization of how potential and purpose are the keys to being the essence of who we are. Now let’s discover how having a proper perspective accompanies us as we continue on this journey.

Typically a landing approach begins at least 30 minutes in advance to properly align an aircraft to land on the assigned runway. This alignment requires correct TIMING and keen FORESIGHT.

Every approach is different depending on the location, length and condition of the runway. Many adjustments must be made according to the capabilities of a particular aircraft’s rate of speed upon descent, weight and braking power to ensure a successful landing.

Airline pilots must adhere to checklists to guide them through executing initial descent, which is the first phase of landing and final approach, when only a few minutes remain before touchdown. Even though the cockpit crew possesses state of the art instruments to guide them, they must maintain visual alertness during each aspect of an approach.

THE FLIGHT PATTERN IS THE STANDARD PATH TO LAND AN AIRCRAFT AND THE APPROACH INDICATES THE INTENT TO LAND

Many factors are involved in having a proper perspective of ourselves at any phase of life. Our thought patterns, (paths) often align or misalign us with our goal of fulfilling purpose. Having a specific viewpoint has been controlled by situations during our growth process that tend to misalign our view of what we can accomplish.

We come into proper alignment when we perceive from God who we are according to Him. There is a checklist from the beginning to the end that guides us through each segment of our existence.

Our perspective is to understand that He has equipped us with capabilities to reach the appointed destination according to His plan regardless of the circumstances we encounter. It is vitally important to be vigilant to determine if our approach is centered appropriately at the right time to guarantee a wonderful landing.

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord.” They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Aircraft Fleets

Potential Meets Purpose

By now you should have pondered intently on the question, “WHY AM I HERE”?

I’ve talked with many people, some much younger and some much older who have never considered the aforementioned phrase. The most common answer is, “I DON’T KNOW” The good news is that by the fact that we still exist assures us of this one thing-it’s not too late to discover our PURPOSE for being!

During my career, I became familiar with over one hundred types of aircraft. I realized that each model was equipped to navigate specific journeys at different rates of speed, altitudes and attitudes. However,they all had one single PURPOSE, which was to transport passengers from point A to point B.

I quickly learned from the cockpit crew that the position of the jetliner is referred to as “attitude” and how high or low the aircraft flies is referred to as altitude, which is determined by its position.

We have been equipped by God with with gifts and talents to maneuver on our journey to fulfill HIS PURPOSE for our lives. Some of us have been gifted differently than others, but our design gives us the capability to reach the intended destination at the set time.

The thought process (attitude) we possess will determine the quality of our journey. The expression, “have a good attitude”, can be somewhat misleading. Consider this: assume a correct attitude or position that will elevate not lower your ascent to discover PURPOSE.

Airliners will encounter obstacles along the flight path such as other aircraft traveling the same route, turbulence, etc. and must make adjustments to continue to their destination. We must make adjustments in pursuit of PURPOSE. The journey is challenging but necessary to achieve the assignment.

Maya Angelou said: ” If you don’t like something, change it, if you can’t change it, change your attitude.” I’d like to say, take a different position!

Each jet in an airline fleet requires different amounts of fuel to operate efficiently and effectively and we are similar in that the level of OUR (not anyone else’s) potential, is an essential component that propels us upward and outward – it reaches up to God and out to the world.

POTENTIAL MEETS PURPOSE when we ACCEPT that we are fueled by what God put in us at every stage of life and become totally conscious that TODAY is our starting point!!

Preflight Briefing

PURPOSE- the reason which something is done or created or for which something exists

Preflight Briefing is a term used for flight preparation of airline crews. There are many things that must be considered in order to have a successful flight. The purpose of the Preflight Briefing is to ensure that the flight operates efficiently and everyone is aware of each specific responsibility that determines a safe and uneventful experience to reach the appointed destination. Preparation is an ever evolving lifelong process that leads us to our purpose. Every experience has within itself a seed that develops from one stage to the next, landing us in the exact place we were purposed to be.

I never imagined that in my young, very young, years, my adventuresome spirit and love for people would actually cause me to travel to places I could only dream about. Intertwined in that desire, was a destiny that has been designed to expose who I really am and why I exist.

Ask yourself now, “WHY AM I HERE?

Many times we are led to believe that we must be accomplished in certain areas of society to have a meaningful existence without understanding the realm of PURPOSEFUL EXISTENCE. Anything we are passionate about is the foundation of why we are here.

Today you may have greeted someone with a lovely smile and you had no idea that no one smiled at that person for quite a long time. As a child perhaps you were the one who always encouraged others. You were created for that person on that day who needed a pleasant gesture. I know this is seriously basic example, but we have to understand that even our smallest efforts that are sometimes overlooked have great consequences as we travel through life.

Whatever you are experiencing or have experienced, is a pathway that leads to fulfillment of your destination. This is a vital part of the journey-embracing each day as preparation time that exposes the essence of you.

In my next blog, we will continue to understand PURPOSE and how POTENTIAL is a blueprint that allows us to embrace each stage of living life.

Seatbelts

Releasing Potential

Seatbelts restrain us from movement during different phases of flight on board a commercial jet. Once our seatbelts are released, we are free to move about the cabin or exit through the forward door upon landing, after being secured to the jet bridge. We progress forward until we reach the awaiting concourse which leads us to another flight or our intended destination.

If we remain attached to our seats, no progress takes place. We are then parallel to “potential in dormancy.”

Potential is liberated in several ways.

Firstly, RECOGNIZE that we are more than what our reflection in the mirror says.

Secondly, SIT quietly and imagine what you desire to develop within the deepest part of your soul that will make a difference in the world – even if it’s something bigger than yourself. 

Albert Einstein said, “ Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Thirdly, FOCUS on what causes you to have a heartfelt zeal that is greater than anything else in your day-to-day existence.

ACCEPT that these three simple steps will unfold your true calling. Oftentimes, the world we live in suggests complicated avenues to obtain our purpose – a formal education is one of them. Education does qualify us, but it does not DEFINE the essence of who we are. We must surely avail ourselves to every opportunity for improvement to keep our brain functioning at its best. 

Remember to dig deeper into the heart where potential is hidden for a time and released at the appointed time.

Takeoff

Understanding Potential

It’s difficult to imagine that travel is considered a “Process of time”, because what immediately comes to mind is a specific destination. If we give careful thought to the actual process of every nuance of the term, we discover that travel actually isolates the path that is more significant to the point of destination itself. 

Another word for travel is journey. It is within this term which seems to reinforce each segment in life as a necessary component that gives value to our lives with each waking moment of the day. Depending on our perspective, journey and destination are two separate entities whereby we must identify and understand, navigating this concept uncovers our potential.

Without all the twists and turns we experience, our true selves may never be revealed. The strengths and weaknesses that are within, formulate our talents and gifts which ultimately serve the world.

Destiny began it’s calling when we were in the mind of The Creator even before we appeared on the earth. Potential was positioned awaiting development from birth to now. If you have reached your golden years, it is imperative to embrace the passion of truly accepting how each pursuit will add depth and meaning to the world. Your stage in life may be just beginning. Maybe you are a high school/college student, young or advanced entrepreneur, government official, garbage collector, mail person, etc., there is an extreme capability that is lying dormant with a great expectancy of being released at the appointed time.

In his book, “Understanding Potential”, Dr. Myles Munroe points out, “What you have done is no longer potential. Potential is what you can do, but have not done yet.”

Let this journey unfold the untapped potential in us as we carefully review where we are right now and make the decision to follow the path that leads to realizing not only who you are, but who you are meant to be.

Welcome

Time has allowed you and me to transition to, what is tagged by some, our GOLDEN YEARS. I remember hearing that phrase somewhere in my younger years and I never really gave much thought to exactly what the term was or where it came from. What I’ve discovered is that the process is quite unique- depending on your perspective of “golden.” 

This blog is speaking to everyone – those who have not considered what it would be like when you begin to realize “GOLDEN HAPPENED SUDDENLY” and those who are now IN that place where suddenly has been your friend for quite some time and you don’t like it!

The seasoning of our lives began its process when we first appeared and when we cross  that threshold of “WHAT NOW”, it can leave a lasting affect of frustration, confusion and anger.

I want to reach out to let you know that our journey has made us “Sensationally Seasoned” thereby engaging us to add substance to the world.