I love to ask fellow travelers, “How would you describe your spiritual journey?” This simple question is like using a copper penny to scratch away the silver stuff that conceals the secret code on the back of a gift-card.
There’s always a story.
Tonight, on a short flight from Atlanta to RDU, I sat next to a kindly railroad worker just five years shy of retirement. When asked to describe his spiritual journey he shook his head, “Nah, I don’t have one.” So, I wondered, “Do you believe in God?” He said yes even though he had no religious background or current interest in God. So, I pressed a bit further, “What causes you to believe in God?” He explained that nearly three years ago his father passed away. His dad’s last wish was for this guy, his son, to quit smoking.
He shifted in his seat, “Then, exactly one year later on the same day and at the exact time of my dad’s death I had massive heart attack. The Widow-maker.”
“Clearly not,” I replied. He chuckled and said. “I think there must be a reason God kept me alive. But, there’s more,” he continued, “if you’d like to hear”
Are you kidding? I was captivated.
Not long ago he went into the hospital for routine carpel-tunnel surgery and the removal of a cyst on his wrist…the doctor discovered an aneurism, which should’ve taken his life. Once again he dodged death. He looked me straight in the eye, “I think God has a purpose for my life.”
So, I asked, “What do you think that purpose is?” He reflected, “I’m not really sure. Maybe it’s to keep people safe.”
The flight attendants and beverage service interrupted our conversation. He started leafing through the SkyMall Magazine and I returned to my Michael Connelly novel. I needed to tell him that God is real and created us all for a purpose.
So, as we taxied to the gate I jotted several bible passages on my business card including Psalm 139, John 3:16, and Ephesians 2:8-10. I explained the God he refers to is real, very personal and intimately involved in his life, and can be found in the pages of His Word. He thanked me – sincerely – and disappeared into the wake of weary travelers…on a spiritual journey to redemption.