Where in the world is …?

So, I was able to pull together all of my material to teach the introductory lesson on the book of James last night. Since I’ve taught the series before, it was simply a matter of reworking outlines and reconnecting thoughts. The folks who showed up were gracious and kind. In short, I came home last night looking forward to the remaining weeks.

I think a part of my good feeling had to do with my expectation that I will have time to continue my study and preparation. Things have been so busy the last two years, I feel like I’ve been away from some important things. But now, things have lulled a bit. Yes, I know that another storm is coming in mid-summer. Now. Now things are smooth and calm.

I’ll be returning to my regular schedule of work-related travel soon — working with individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations and churches in conflict. I look forward to the work, although being away from home is hard. And the travel itself can be very taxing.

My wife, Nancy, is a big fan of the Today Show. That’s an accurate statement. Although you could narrow the field a bit and say that she’s a big fan of Matt Lauer. Hardly a week goes by when she doesn’t tell me about something Matt said or somebody Matt interviewed. The last few days she’s been telling me where Matt is. This is “Where in the world is Matt Lauer?” week.

So far, the way I understand it, he’s been to Argentina, the Netherlands, Laos, and today he’s in Istanbul. Because of his extensive travel, Matt claims that he has no time to shave. So added to the travel log today was Nancy’s comment that Matt’s beard looks pretty scraggly.

As I was about to leave for work, Matt was telling his adoring audience about his rough travel schedule. Since last Friday, he’s spent 53 hours in the air speeding to all of these exotic locations. And, he gave out a key bit of information. He said, “After the show, we’ll do a little sightseeing and then get back on ‘our’ plane and head to our next location.”

Aha! That’s how he does it. A private plane. Because I know that if I were sent out on a similar business trip, this would be the listing of locations for “Where in the world is Joey Cope?”

Day 1: Stuck in Abilene because of bad weather in Dallas forcing flight cancellations.
Day 2: In Dallas, but on standby waiting to get on planes because of the problem with yesterday’s cancellations.
Day 3: Now in Cleveland, Ohio, because of rerouting due to problems at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport of an undisclosed nature.
Day 4: In Dallas, waiting on a connecting flight to the original undisclosed location.
Day 5: Because of bad weather at the original undisclosed location and at Dallas, stuck on a plane on the tarmac in Abilene. And because this is not the regular airline that serves Abilene, FAA regulations forbids passengers to deplane — even if you live here and your car is only a couple of thousand feet away accumulating parking fees.
Day 6: Even though I’m supposed to be back home in Abilene now, I’m in Dallas standing at a car rental counter. No flights back to Abilene until the FAA okays the maintenance reports for my airline.

No, all of that hasn’t happened to me in one trip. I’m just saying that if I was to undertake a globe-trotting jaunt like Matt Lauer, this is what it would look like.

Next year, I would like to see Matt make his swing across the continents on commercial flights. That would be a real adventure.

As we talked about James last night, I think that we see that life is really more like a trip around the world in coach class than it is by private jet. Things happen. Some good things are a part of the mix. Yet, disappointments abound. Yet, if you’re ever going to make the journey, you just keep showing up. Oddly, if we place faith in a being greater than we are, we primarily remember the good things.

So, if anyone asks you “Where in the world are you?”, just tell them, I’m right here where God can find me. And I’ll get where I’m going on His good time.

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