Updated: Aug 26, 2022
Missed connections and the love you don’t want to miss.
Many years ago, long before I met Jesus or my former husband, I met a man on a flight from Italy in a Nora Ephron-worthy plot, film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan back in the day. We had instant chemistry from Pisa's tarmac and bantered effortlessly for the full 11 hours and 40-plus minute flight. Separated in the chaos of JFK's baggage claim, I found him waiting for me after customs. He grabbed me, kissed me, gazed into my eyes and said, "I could fall in love with you quick!" Terrified, confused, and not wanting to betray the beau waiting at home, I rushed off, ignoring him calling after me. For years afterward, I wondered about that guy and what might have been. In the case of Jesus, the stakes for missed opportunities are so much higher.
The fact is, this fella and I did have instant chemistry...I was a cute 22, he was a swarthy-handsome 30ish. We had things in common. But there were some *tiny* red flags. Rumpled, he was already smoking and drinking when I boarded. He was heading Stateside after a two-year engineering assignment in Livorno and apparently, was one of the four people on Planet Earth who did not like Italy or Italians (except for me, of course). My whole family is Italian and in Italy. We also had a lot to drink for the duration of the flight, just possibly affecting our mutual clarity of vision.
What could go wrong, right?
At the time, in the blindness of reckless, inebriated, godless youth, it seemed like a truly tragic missed opportunity. However, the regret passed for sure. I don't even remember the guy's name and the headiness of the encounter is long forgotten.
A few years later (again, before Jesus or my ex), I met another young man and fell what I thought was madly in love. The relationship soured for some very good reasons. Later, we had a chance to reconnect, but we both blew it. This too was a source of considerable pain for a long time, but eventually it, too, dimmed.
In fact, in the Light, as an ardent believer in Romans 8:28, on both occasions I trust my timeless God had my back all along and that these "missed opportunities" were actually Providential protection. Thank you, Jesus, for sparing me some heartaches.
Post-Covid-air-travel connection woes.
A radically different kind of missed connection is this issue of air travel, 2022. I took a seven-hour detour on a recent flight to Boston. I missed out on a day of activities at the retreat I was attending. Disappointing, but all told, it wasn’t a big deal.
Six-thousand U.S. flights were canceled last weekend. That’s a lot of missed connections, jumbled travel plans, missed meetings, late starting vacations, and the headache of unruly, overtired kids, but it’s not a catastrophe.
There was another time when I missed a connection in Paris on my way to Italy and had to hang out at de Gaulle airport for many hours with several very weary travel companions. We set up camp on the floor in the terminal. It sounds pretty glamorous, but the fact is, airport terminals look about the same wherever you go and napping on the floor is still napping on the floor.
We eventually made it to Rome just fine.