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Meeting new people May 6, 2009

Filed under: Everything — Jason Olson @ 8:39 am
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big plane over sunsetOn Monday I took a return flight from my wife’s, cousin’s wedding in Tucson Arizona — and the wedding was amazing. It was outdoor, and it reminded me of the outdoor parties from the movie Sabrina. Just an amazing outdoor party!

On my return trip from Tucson International to Redding, via San Diego, and arriving at Sacramento, I met a really amazing person on the flight. I rarely find myself in conversation with people during short flights (probably because I’m typically traveling with my family, so I’m engaged with them instead, or reading a book). But this time, I was alone since I had to return to work on Tuesday at Apex Technology.

The flight was virtually packed out, and I had few choices — a couple of grumpy looking people or a young mother with an infant.If you’ve ever been on a plane with an infant on-board, you know how distracting (or disastrous) it can be. Having children of our own, I braved the task of sitting next to them. And I think she assumed likewise, since only a parent would actually brave sitting next to an infant. It turned out to be simply serendipitous to meet another parent and fellow Christian. We had a wonderful talk and discovered that we had the same connecting flight to Sacramento. We parted ways in the terminal, with around an hour layover. I called my wife and had some lunch, and then found an amazing book in the gift shop, The Love Dare. I got into the book and next thing I knew it was time to board. Half-way back I found my friend again, and we continued our chat.

What was perhaps the most interesting was to step back and realize how personal we tend to get with complete strangers. Probably because we don’t exactly fear them judging us, after all, in about 60 minutes, you’ll never see them again. However, the other part for our discussion was simply because it revolved around our children, and you tend to be a bit more candid with people who have had shared experiences. Infact topics which would typically be taboo between single men and women, tend to disappear after you’re married, and especially after you have children. Probably because we assume that we’ve all “been there”.

It was nice sharing our experiences raising our children, parenting and some of the terrific highs, and some of the more challenging parts. And no matter how hard I think things have been (and realistically they’ve been bad at all), her husband and her have had things infinitely more difficult. What’s an amazing testimony is how God has help them through a very challenging year in 2008. It’s a breath of fresh air that regardless of the lows, how much the Lord loves and cares for us!

It was also great to, in whatever feeble attempt, to thank her and her husband for the sacrifices he is making in the Army right now. Our freedom is not free, and we have a great many individuals in the armed forces to thank for that. And certainly the spouses behind them do not hear enough thank you’s for how they are supportive and keep their families going during deployments.

It was just a wonderful conversation and made our trip go much quicker…

To my new friend that I’ll probably never see again: it was truly a blessing to share a seat next to you for two flights! You will never know just how much your testimony of God’s grace over your life circumstances last year has touched me. Oh and just a reminder, when you’re in the Redding area, you really need to checkout Bethel Church – it is unlike anything you’ve experienced and will really be “off-base” for you, but I think you guys will truely be blessed!

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