An “Until” Moment by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche. 2023.
Author: A Little Faith Lift…Finding Joy Beyond Rejection
AWSA (Advanced Writers & Speakers Assoc.)

Do you have an “until” moment?  Your “everything is going along swell…until” moment?  This past week while flying from Los Angeles to Dallas, I was looking for a seat at the gate when I walked past a body-builder speaking to a lady who was practicing the splits on the carpeted area. (I would have joined her but realized there was no need to get the paramedics involved.)

Unusual pair, I thought, listening to them discuss their workout programs, except, as it turned out, they weren’t together.  The muscular man was with another woman. He, funny, witty, and seemingly, adventurous, spent the next two hours entertaining everyone around him.  When we began to board, he placed a beanie on his head and then protectively stuck a feather in its upturned hem.  Definitely his own person.

I boarded ahead of him and his lady-friend, but as they came down the aisle, looking for their seat, I noticed a complete change in his countenance.  He appeared terrified and frustrated when he found out his seat was between his gal-pal and a stranger.  I could overhear her reassuring him that everything was going to be all right.

He had appeared so confident and joyful…until he didn’t. He now looked like he would strangle someone, and although two rows back, I overheard the girl loudly talking with her dad on the phone about how hard it was to calm down her friend.  When we had been in the air a short time, the pilot informed us that we were in for a turbulent ride but he would “try” to find an altitude to make the trip easier. Not. Good. News.

The pilot failed to find calmer skies.  An hour outside of Dallas, even the flight attendants were told to be seated as the pilots navigated the storm around us.  Since they had spent much of their time at the terrified man’s seat, reassuring him, I feared that, without their constant attention, he might turn into a raving lunatic, mid-plane jostle.  And jostle we did.  I secretly began thanking God for engineers so smart, they could design a plane that could endure such shaking without snapping in half.

When we finally landed and were allowed to stand, passengers closer to the terrified man began to assure him that things now were okay.  “Nope,” he said.  “I will be on Amtrak the rest of this trip.  There will be no more flying for me.”

We all have our “until” moment, don’t we?  We are fine…until someone crowds in front of our merge line on the freeway.  Until our boss says one more critical word.  Until the customer service agent is rude instead of helpful.  Until our spouse once again fails to clean up his/her mess.  Until we are asked yet again to loan a tool to a moochy neighbor.  Until the mechanic’s bill isn’t even close to his estimate.

Until.  Until.  Until.  The Bible is not short of “until” moments.

In the Old Testament, barren Rachel’s moment came when, jealous of her fertile sister, she said that she would die if she did not get pregnant.  Moses spent weeks in the presence of God and was a happy camper…until he saw the golden calf the Israelites were worshipping.  Saul, the king of Israel, had his “until” moment when he found out that his son, Jonathan, was closer to his friend David than with his dad.  The list is endless.

Paul (of New Testament fame) addressed the issue when he said that we always are to be content.  Instead of there being an “until” moment, we are to rely on God and not ourselves, and until someone causes me to have one of those moments, I plan to do just that.

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