Launching, Living and Landing

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.

As we watch our grandson begin his journey having experienced the trip with our own children, we can enjoy his flight without worrying so much about turbulence.

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.

Walking with my parents through their recent downsizing process foreshadows future passages for us. Their delight in their new surroundings is comforting evidence that they have landed safely.

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?

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7 Responses to Launching, Living and Landing

  1. Caddo Veil says:

    Hi Judy! First, I LOVE the aka’s! And thanks for prompting me to ponder the “traveling vs stationary” question. I don’t imagine I’ll be making anymore geographic moves–but I think I’m still doing some traveling in my mind, and I’m most-assuredly “connecting”. God bless you today. love, sis Caddo

  2. Cara Olsen says:

    Lovely post, Judy. Once again, I enjoyed all of your “connections” and parallels drawn to God and life and the bible.

    Quite honestly, I think the most wonderful facet of life is that it is NOT stationary; nothing stays the same. The downside of this, of course, is that moments of great joy and happiness will nevertheless end, but it also means times of sorrow and the unexplainable’s of life are fleeting, too. I take solace in that.

    I’m nearing a landing with the book, which could very easily turn into a launching. It is TBD. I put all of this in His hands, though, and trust that wherever He is taking me is where I want to go!

    Thank you. Happy Sunday!

    ~ Cara

    • Judy says:

      Hi Cara,
      I agree – life is much more interesting and enjoyable when we’re moving, going somewhere, instead of standing still. Having said that, I also tend to resist change even though I know better. Go figure. I wish you a very happy landing for you book, and for the Lord to grant you an exciting launch! Yes, it’s in his hands and and I trust with you that wherever he takes you, or me, it is where we want to go!
      Judy

  3. myfunhap says:

    Again, you bring up the essential issues !

    Since you’ve asked: my launching’s come from the restlessness in the mind, to look elsewhere for happiness. Wanting to do this, wanting to do that. Telling myself that if I do this or that, I will have achieved that goal or had that pleasure. Afterwards though, it is exactly the same as before. Sometimes worse, e.g. if I have bought something which ” I wanted to have already for a long time”. Now I have it, I am stuck with it, I have to give it a place an take care of it.

    My landings: when I come to a blog like yours and realize again how these things work. “Coming home” is a great metaphor and can be used also spiritual. “Coming home” is letting all attachments go in the realization that my core happiness is not dependent of anything. “Coming home” is also realizing that nothing external is static and will change. Vise versa, everything that can change is external.

    What can not change are wisdom an loving kindness, the 2 components so abundantly present in God. So coming home for me is is similar with dropping restlessness (again and again), to seek outside what is innate in mankind: God. Everything can and will change but never this landing place.

    Have a landingfull weekend 😉

    Francois

    • Judy says:

      Hi Francois,
      You make an excellent observation that when we “launch” out toward something that we think will make us happy, we often “land” disappointed. Contentment, joy, real satisfaction, as you point out, are found in God alone. I love your last line: “Everything can and will change but never this landing place.” May we always “land” in Him:)
      Thanks Francois, and many happy landings for you this weekend!
      Judy

  4. Rick Alvey says:

    Great post Judy! I can relate and I love the analogy of launching and landing!

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