Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I’ve flown a lot this month and aside from noticing how it isn’t like it “used to be;” i.e. all flights packed, more cranky people, no freebies, no pillows, pay-per-bag, it went well. I got from here to there and appreciated the lift! Years ago, the first time the TSA folks dissembled my suitcase and left their notification card I thought, “Hey, that’s my stuff you’re rummaging through!” After that, you find that search paper in there and you “deal.” I was tagged pretty regularly for a while. I remember my daughter-in-law feeling assaulted in Traverse City, MI (of all places) flying back to the UK from their holiday at the cottage. That rude awakening left her in tears--and she’s an experienced world traveler.

That’s when I realized TSA personalities are as variable as in any other profession. TSA can stand for 'To Secure Admirably' or 'Take Some Advantage.' Or worse. I’ve come up with some of those. This month in Seattle, the TSA gentleman checked my ticket and smiled, “Have a great day!” I told him that was at the top of my list. A few nice agents almost make up for the missing horseradish, face cream and manicure scissors I’ve forfeited. I’ve never been as bothered, though, as one woman in line behind me who had to give up her new fragrance and makeup to a TSA agent who got an earful about how she knew his wife would love it, all of it!

My least favorite is over-weight baggage. It sends sane people to the floor tossing items between bags, frantically stuffing underwear and shoes in their pockets, rushing to buy another bag for the extra pounds. I once offered to stash some college kid’s stuff in my carry-on just till we got to the destination. Her look said, “Uh, no!” Apparently timing is everything with random acts of kindness!

I compare this to my “baggage” when I come before God, which I do pretty regularly. He invites that. I lay my baggage at His feet…not literally, you know what I mean. I pour it out in words; confess it in sobs, sit there speechless. I don’t know where to toss the extra “stuff.” No one offers random acts of kindness to carry it for me. I know He puts all of it through His security check. Then I realize, there’s no long line. He does it out of love for me. His TSA stands for 'Total Surrender Accepted!' When God goes through my baggage, He doesn’t toss anything without replacing it with something better. I bring in the trials of my life. He matches me up with a way through to the other side. It’s called “The Great Exchange.” In fact, He looks through His scanner, His security check, sees my rebellion to His ways, called “sin,” and offers to exchange all of that for what Christ did for me on the cross. Jesus’ death and resurrection are the Big TSA Deal “To Save Always.” Without faith in that, also a gift from Him, I can’t get through His security line at all. But with that, I waltz through, skip through, free of overweight baggage! Helping me see the Truth of what’s going on in my life is one of His “calling cards.” Something like the long narrow TSA piece of paper left in luggage. But His “calling card” leaves relief and offers His forgiveness for the mess I’ve made or am in. Nice trade off for extra baggage, don’t you think?

No comments: