Some days I feel like I’m living in a transportation hub, like an airport, with family members in various life stages launching and landing all around me.
When I travel (literally, not metaphorically), I board a plane at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. It is a busy place, but you can get anywhere from O’Hare. You can also get frustrated, confused, harried or stuck. Just like life.
Recently I spent a morning planning meals and buying groceries for my own family, which includes two twenty-something sons, a.k.a. eating machines, who are home for the summer, and then I took my mom grocery shopping since my dad still can’t drive after his hip replacement. The next day our 21 month old grandson, a.k.a. world’s most adorable toddler, arrived at our door for his weekly day with Amma and Papa.
My position in this scenario is commonly called the Sandwich Generation, but it feels more like tracking arrivals and departures in an airport.
Our grandson takes off on new adventures daily as he learns two languages (his mother’s English and his father’s Portuguese), develops physical skills, and makes so many cognitive connections that you can almost see the mental pathways forming. (Thankfully, he puts his wheels down for a nap every day too!) Our children embark on flights toward their desired career destinations, meeting and choosing traveling partners on the way. My parents have just downsized, landing contentedly in a lovely apartment. Finally, my husband and I are planning our next expedition into second careers in ministry. (We’re still working on exactly what that itinerary looks like.)
It is really a wonderful vantage point from which to appreciate life.
Our own children, either en route to a destination or are at a connection point, are living years of great growth and self-discovery. It is a pleasure to watch from our home, the touch point from which they take off and land.
The Bible is largely a story told in the context of travel. The Patriarchs were sojourners in their Promised Land, the nation of Israel was discipled through its desert wanderings, and after an era of national prominence, Israel and Judah were overtaken and the people dispersed to live again as foreigners.
Jesus walked through towns and cities during the three years of his earthly ministry, and his disciples, along with the Apostle Paul, traveled extensively to start churches in as many places as their feet could carry them.
I wonder, is the life of a Christian meant to be stationary? Perhaps it is fitting to view life as a series of comings and goings.
What are the launchings and landings happening in and around your life? Are you taking off? Landing? Connecting? In a holding pattern?