|I went to visit my son this last week in Auburn, Alabama. SInce I live in Los Angeles and Auburn is on the other side of the country, I had to fly. Like all travellers in the US these days, I really considered what I was going to need on the trip. I would have to get out of the Atlanta airport, get my rental car, and drive 100 miles in less than 2 hours to make the kick off of the Auburn/Washington State football game.|
With the limited amount of time, I decided to not check my bags and go carry on. That meant no liquids, gels, toothpastes, deodorant, body sprays, lotions, or any other useful item in this genre.
As a precaution, I checked the TSA web site and called my brother, a TSA Supervisor, to see if in fact I could take along my ChapStick. I did not see it listed on the prohibited items list, and my brother said it was allright. Satisfied that I was leaving all of my potential terroist material at home I left for the airport. LAX. Los Angeles International. One of the biggest and busiest airports in the world. And guess what? It all worked!
They looked in my carry on bag, I undressed, passed through the X-ray, and was on my way to my first stop in Denver. The flight was great, we arrived on time, I bought a soda and waited for my final flight to Atlanta. And then I made a fatal mistake. As I was waiting to board the plane, I reached into my pocket, grabbed my 2006 terrorist lip balm and put a little on my lips. And then I headed down the jetway. Until an airline employee came running after me. "Sir, sir, please wait. Do you have lip balm?" I responded that in fact I did. At which point she demanded I turn it over to her. Which of course I did, because even though I was permitted by law to have it, I was not interested in pursuing the matter while my plane left and I missed the upcoming football game. She apologized, even telling me that someone in the terminal had seen me using my ChapStick and told on me. It just didn't seem fair to me. Like what happened next.
When I fly United, I am sometimes able to buy an upgrade to what they call Economy Plus. Basically, you pay an additional $25.00 for the right to sit in seats with a few more inches of leg room. That way instead of feeling like you are being stuffed into a sardine can, you feel like you are in matchbox. Still cramped, but able to move. It is important on those midwest commuter planes that are somewhat smaller than a full size plane. So there I was in my upgrade seat when a couple from the back of the plane moves into my "premium" zone. They did not like their seats in the back and wanted more room. They didn't pay for them. They just took them. And it made me mad. I was so angry, my lips started to feel chapped, but there was nothing I could do about that. It didn't seem fair to me.
Like when you go to the store to buy a couple of items, and in front of you in the express line is some jerk with 16 items. And yet the sign says only 11 items. So you stand there waiting, counting his items, hoping he will figure it out but he never does. You are longing for justice. You keep hoping the checker will see how many items that he has, and make him get into another line. Like I wanted the flight attendant to make that couple move back to the cheap seats. But it never happens. And you are thinking that life is never fair.
There are a lot of times in my life when I feel that. Longing for justice, equality, and fairness. Doesn't the bible say something about that? I'm pretty sure it does. It just isn't the petty type I am usually seeking.