Subscribe Mothers Day 2024

Good News: Right gate, wrong plane

by | Jun 7, 2017 | Opinion

By Jeff Denton

Imagine getting ready for a long trip. You’re packed and ready to go. You arrive at the airport, go through security and check in at the gate. You board the flight and end up flying…the wrong direction.

That happened to United Airlines passenger, Lucie Bahetoukilae, on April 24th. She went to the gate printed on her ticket at the airport in Newark, New Jersey. Her ticket was scanned by a gate agent and she was sent on the plane. She showed her ticket to a flight attendant upon discovering someone in her ticketed seat. The attendant directed her to another seat.

Alongside the gate and seat number, her destination was clearly printed on her ticket as “Charles de Gaulle.” This woman who speaks only French, assumed she was on a flight headed to France. Imagine her surprise when she landed a few hours later in San Francisco!

United Airlines promptly apologized for the mix up, refunded her ticket, and got her on the next plane to France. The next flight didn’t take off until after Ms. Bahetoukilae spent 11-hours at the San Francisco airport waiting for the next flight back home to Paris.

Over a two-day period she spent twenty-eight hours traveling to get home. All because she started by heading 3,000 miles the wrong direction.

Have you ever gotten to the end of a day and felt like you’d be traveling the wrong direction all day? Do you wonder where you’re headed and if you’re even going the right way?

The Apostle Paul certainly had that experience. He started life as a man named Saul. He was well educated and had pretty good credentials to be a member of the “religious community”. In fact, he was becoming a little bit of a rock star for persecuting followers of Jesus. Then Paul had a personal encounter with Jesus (Acts 9) and it changed his perspective, attitude, and life direction.

Later, when considering everything he’d given up to become a follower of Christ – prestige, respect of his peers, a role in the established community – he said everything he’s lost was merely “rubbish”. The word he used in Philippians 3 to describe what a waste those things had been was a fairly vulgar term for waste byproducts.

He had concluded that everything he thought was valuable in life had turned into garbage. He realized those things had no real value if they didn’t lead him toward a relationship with God. They were distractions from truth. They were filler material that led nowhere and amounted to nothing. He concluded that finding the right direction in life was what really mattered.

It’s easy to spend an entire lifetime chasing after things that don’t matter. It’s like boarding the wrong plane and traveling 3,000 miles the wrong direction. We’re just getting farther from our home destination.

Paul needed a vision from Christ along the road to Damascus to recognize he was headed the wrong direction. Lucie Bahetoukilae didn’t know she was traveling the opposite way she wanted to go until she’d arrived at the wrong destination.

What will it take for you to pause and evaluate whether you’re headed the right direction in life? Are you willing to ask, and answer, some tough questions about the choices you’ve been making? Are you prepared to ask someone who cares about you if they think you’re on the right path?

Maybe it’s time to recognize the signs that reveal what way you’re headed. You’ll never know if you’re on the right path until you stop to ask yourself where you want your final destination to be.

For more columns each week subscribe to our print and e-edition here.

Photos online

0 Comments

Public Notice - Subscribe

Related News

Laundry: There’s more than one way to fold

Laundry: There’s more than one way to fold

You would think that there’s only one way to fold towels. But, you’d be wrong. Growing up in Ashdown, Arkansas, my momma showed me how to fold them, as well as shirts, socks, underpants, and other personal sundries. I assumed that this skillset would carry me all the...

read more
The Lawn Moore

The Lawn Moore

America really is The Land of Opportunity. Even if there’s only one opportunity, and that opportunity is cutting the grass.  Ashdown, Arkansas, was a pretty typical small American town in the 1960s and 1970s.  Kids weren’t just handed things. If we wanted...

read more
A myth understanding

A myth understanding

In the South, we believed with all of our hearts what we were told when we were children. Even if it was wrong. In the 1960s, the RCA color console TV my family had on Beech Street in Ashdown, Arkansas, could make you go blind. It could if you believed what our mom...

read more
On the road again and again

On the road again and again

Back in the 60s, some American college kids protested the Vietnam War, but mostly, they conducted sit-ins. Few protests were violent. Other American college kids would have contests to see how many of them they could cram into a Volkswagen. Today, some college kids...

read more
Aisle be seeing you

Aisle be seeing you

As a child growing up in Ashdown, Arkansas, we had two main grocery stores. Shur-Way and Piggly Wiggly. Or as my dad called it, “Hoggly Woggly.” A trip to the store was like each TV commercial had come to life. Advertising agencies at the time were very good at what...

read more
Just plane fun

Just plane fun

My wife and I are scheduled for an Alaskan cruise in the fall. By all accounts, it’s something to which we should look forward. I’ve been told the same thing about other trips, including a Vegas excursion that included a stay at a strip motel that still had beds that...

read more
Fixer Uppers

Fixer Uppers

Recently, I saw something I haven’t seen in many years. A young man driving a car he was fixing up. It was an older Mustang. By older I mean a 90’s model. The car had spots of primer, there were a few dents, and the exhaust system appeared to be loose. By John Moore...

read more
Who’s counting when it comes to columns?

Who’s counting when it comes to columns?

When this newspaper column began in 2014, my wife asked me a question. Wife: “How long do you intend to write this column?” Me: “Oh, I don’t know. I guess I’ll write 500 of them and then hang it up. This column is number 500. By Bob Moore For more stories about the...

read more
Don’t eat that

Don’t eat that

When I was a kid, I had to sneak around if I wanted to eat certain things. Now that I’m an adult and in charge, I still have to sneak around if I want to eat certain things. I miss the days when no one knew anything about gluten, trans fats, cholesterol,...

read more
Texas counties among nation’s fastest growing

Texas counties among nation’s fastest growing

Recent estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau indicate that six of the 10 fastest-growing counties in the United States from 2022 to 2023 were in Texas. According to the Texas Tribune, Kaufman County, just east of Dallas, led the list with a 7.6% increase in new...

read more
Public Notice - Subscribe