Posted by yourlifeisgolden on June 11, 2009 at 3:44 PM

How often are we given an opportunity to practice what we preach? That’s exactly what happened to me a few days ago. I almost had a pity party of my very own, then I remembered my own words. Taking my own advice wasn’t exactly easy, but I’m glad I was able to finally rise to the occasion.

Tuesday, June 9th started out as a wonderful day. I was in the Houston area where I had attended my granddaughter’s high school graduation just two days earlier. I was scheduled to leave that day to visit my father in the Washington, DC area and was anxiously looking forward to that visit since I hadn’t seen him in several months. Everything was going fine. My flight left Houston with no problem whatsoever. It was a very smooth, uneventful flight.

My itinerary called for a thirty minute layover in Atlanta followed by a ninety minute flight to Reagan National Airport. Every time I told someone I was changing planes in Atlanta, I added that I really didn’t like that airport. ‘Our thoughts are prayers.’ ‘What we think about we bring about.’ I’ve been teaching and preaching these facts for years. Well, it came back to me as soon as the plane landed at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport in Atlanta.

Before I even got off the plane, I received a text message from my brother informing me that all flights to the Washington area were delayed at least two hours due to violent storms along the entire eastern seaboard. I immediately thought of a day several years ago when I sat on a plane in that same airport for nearly five hours waiting for weather to clear up before taking off for Chicago. I said a silent prayer imploring that I not endure that experience again and proceeded to my assigned gate. Less than two minutes after taking a seat, the gate attendant announced that they had oversold the flight and asked for volunteers to give up their seats in exchange for a free round trip ticket. I knocked my bags over and literally ran trying to get to the counter first. I sat patiently while everyone boarded the plane and they never called my name to either board or to give me the necessary paperwork and instructions regarding my new flight or free ticket. After about 15 or 20 minutes, everyone who had boarded the plane came back into the terminal. The flight was delayed indefinitely.

This was the night of the fourth NBA Finals game between the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers. Though professional football is my passion, I am an avid sports fan and didn’t want to miss the game, so after hearing nothing at all about the flight, I found a sports bar and got comfortable at a table with a really nice lady from Orlando who was also trying to get to Washington.

Around half time, I went back to Gate C-8, and the young lady stationed there informed me that the flight was still delayed, but to return to the gate in 30 minutes. When I got back exactly 30 minutes later, the plane was loaded and the gate closed. I was then told that they had called me, but since I was not in the gate area, they gave my seat away and while they would put me on the next plane, I was NOT eligible for the free ticket because they ultimately had a seat for me. Had I allowed the situation to stress me out, I would have truly missed a blessing. Bonding with a total stranger and sharing the Orlando victory with this fine lady was really a Godsend. We watched the rest of the game together, laughed, talked and turned an uncomfortable experience into a very enjoyable one.

Our flight was originally slated to depart at 9:50, but since everything was at least two hours behind schedule, it was postponed until 12:28. The plane arrived from Thurgood Marshall BWI airport around 1:00AM. By the time those weary travelers deplaned and we were allowed to board, it was at least 1:30. Thankfully, AirTran has XM radio on all their planes. Once in my seat, I took out my earplugs, turned on Watercolors, a fairly decent smooth jazz station, and immediately closed my eyes for some much needed sleep. Around 1:45am, the announcement came… ‘Would all passengers please collect your belongings and get off the plane’? At this point, I began wondering how much of this was my own fault for declaring my disdain for the Atlanta airport.

Everyone, including AirTran staff was bleary eyed and sleep deprived. As it turned out, the crew had put in the maximum number of hours allowed, and by law were not permitted to take off. Quite honestly, I was relieved because I had considered that their day was just as long as mine and their reflexes might not be as sharp as they should be. Some passengers grumbled more than others, but all in all, the whole thing went better than some may have expected.

We were given hotel and meal vouchers and scheduled for departure Wednesday morning. Thankfully, earlier experiences with flight changes, delays and other mishaps taught me to keep my luggage with me. Those who checked their bags were not able to retrieve clean clothes, toothbrushes, or any personal items to get them through the ordeal.

By now it was almost three o’clock. The next challenge was getting out of the airport. If you have ever been in the Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, you know it’s massive. So big, in fact, that they have trains to get travelers from one end of the airport to the other. Well, at three in the morning, the trains weren’t running. To their credit, they had not turned off the electric walkways, but that was little comfort when looking at a two mile hike with luggage in tow. I’m just grateful that both my bags were equipped with wheels. I am in very good health. I have never had any problems with high blood pressure or hypertension or any of those other maladies that often plague aging baby boomers and have conquered the cholesterol imp with diet, exercise and alternative treatment, but for the first time in my entire life, the sheer exhaustion made me believe I was about to have a heart attack. There was no tightness in my chest, pain in my arm or back, or any of the other telltale symptoms of a coronary. I just want to stop and go to sleep!

On the way out of the airport and during the wait for the shuttle to the airport, a couple from Seattle, a lady from St. Louis and a young woman who lived in the Mount Pleasant section of Washington were added to my list of new friends. We were all dog tired, but grateful to the airline for giving us this respite because on the way out of the airport, we passed several people sleeping on benches and floors.

When we finally arrived at Country Inn Suites, I was never so glad to see a hotel room in my life. All I cared about was that the bed and bathroom were clean, but it seemed like a nice place… not the Ritz, but nice and clean with friendly, helpful staff. I collapsed onto the bed and was sound asleep in record time. In the morning, I showered, put on fresh clothes and joined my new friends for breakfast and the trip back to the airport, and hopefully on to Washington.

This time, we took off and landed on schedule, but my saga wasn’t over. While walking through the terminal to meet my waiting brother, I happened to see BREAKING NEWS on one of the many terminal television monitors set on CNN. The volume was turned off, but the scroll told the story. A misguided soul had initiated a shootout at the Holocaust Memorial and Museum. The quickest way into Washington from the airport is the 14th Street Bridge, which was now closed to traffic because of the police activity in the area.

We joined the traffic jam and wound our way along the George Washington Parkway to the Key Bridge in Roslyn, Virginia, which put us smack in the middle of Georgetown lunchtime traffic. A ride to my father’s apartment from National Airport normally takes a half hour. This time, it took two and a half hours.

We all arrived at our destinations none the worse for wear. While awaiting hotel and meal vouchers, I was in line with a man who lives in North West Washington. When I told him that I’d been up since 5:30AM and just wanted to close my eyes and rest, he told me, ‘you handle it very well.’ I attribute my "handling it well" to my long-standing habit of talking with God throughout the day, especially when faced with a challenge… and believe me, God and I were in constant communication throughout the entire night. I cannot help but believe that those conversations with God not only helped me, but also helped each and every one of the people with whom I shared this experience.

Some people choose to believe that God tests us. I for one do not believe we are ever tested, but given opportunities to put the lessons we learn to use. It’s very easy to tell someone to stay calm and make the best of a bad situation, but how many people who say that actually do it? How wonderful it would be if everyone practiced what they preached by putting life’s lessons to work every single moment of every single day.

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Reply Renee Michelle Harris
6:29 PM on June 19, 2009 
Let me guess. You attend a unity, universal truth or otherwise spiritual place of worthship:-) Isn't it gratifying and soulfully satisfying to remember to live in the moment, allowing it all to flow? Truly makes the saying "wherever you go, there you are" pretty reassuring, huh?

I enjoyed reading your piece. Thanks for sharing.
Reply Vernelle
10:38 PM on July 11, 2009 
[Sorry it took so long to respond to your comment. YES. I attend Unity of Fort Lauderdale. Isn't it wonderful to have such a wonderful spiritual base from which to operate? In my books, I talk at length about how to apply Unity principles to day-to-day life.

Thanks for visiting my site and for reading my blog.

Peace and Blessings.

Reply Luke Anthony
10:52 AM on November 12, 2009 
I met Keith Blanchard about 20 years ago, and I can say that, in all my life, I?ve never seen such a dramatic change in a person as the one I witnessed in him.

One day, I decided to ask Keith, ?What?s with you? You seem to be not only happy again, but happier than I?ve ever known you to be! What gives??

You?ll never guess what he told me!

?I realized that ever since I was born, I?ve been dying and dying quickly,? he said. ?Actually, one day a few months back, I completely died inside and when that happened, I felt very, very vulnerable. That?s when I saw God and realized clearly that from the beginning of my life He?d never left me.

So that?s when the real me was born and what you?re seeing now is the real me starting to live, as opposed to just existing. I?ve been spending a lot of my time nurturing that me I?ve just gotten turned on to, and I plan to keep on doing it so that I can make a difference in the lives of everyone I come in contact with.?

I?m so glad the day?s finally gotten here that The Divine Principle ? Anchoring Heaven On Earth is being launched. I can?t wait to read it -- and the other books that will follow.
Keith, my friend, keep on keepin? on!

With all respect and support,
your name here

Exciting news! Keith has a fantastic special offer to introduce you to his book, The Divine Principle: Anchoring Heaven on Earth. We?ve chosen Friday the 13th to launch because of the spiritual power of 13 and we encourage you to check it out right away, because it is a limited time offer. Go here to see what?s happening and enjoy the free gifts on November 13:


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