Tag Archives: travel

These Dogs are Barkin’!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I confess. I am a huge fan of Del Griffith. Del Griffith? You know, the shower curtain ring guy played by John Candy in Planes, Trains & Automobiles!

One of the character traits that impresses me most about Del is his “take it as it comes” approach to life. A widowed traveling salesman with no permanent home (“I haven’t been home in years,” he says), Del experienced tragedy in his life at the loss of his beloved wife. That loss placed the daily inconveniences of life into proper perspective for Del. As a traveling salesman, life’s inconveniences often manifest themselves in the form of travel delays. Diverted from Chicago to Wichita, KS during Thanksgiving week, Del meets cynical marketing executive Neal Page, played by Steve Martin.  Together the two are the epitome of yin and yang; Del’s glass is half full while Neal’s is slightly less than half empty.

I travel on business regularly, and today was one of those Murphy’s Law travel days. And, like Del, “I’m just rolling with the flow, like a twig on the shoulders of a mighty stream.”

Or am I? For me, today was a travel day in which much went wrong, starting with a thunderstorm perfectly timed to delay my early morning departure from DFW airport and ending with a departure delay of just over an hour headed home from Corpus Christi. How did I handle it? Did I “roll with the flow like a twig on the shoulders of a mighty stream” or did I get frustrated and let my frustration show to those around me? Was I a Del Griffith or was I a Neal Page? Was I a discourager or was I an encourager?

Blogging at 34,000 feet

Blogging at 34,000 feet

To be honest, I was a little of both. Neal Page would be proud of my Facebook posts from this afternoon. Rather than reassure my family and friends that these travel delays were no big deal and all would be fine, I posted items designed to drag people into my pit of travel misery to wallow there with me. After all, why wallow alone? However, as the cynical approach began to weigh me down I decided to change my tactics. I met eyes and exchanged smiles with my fellow passengers. I made a TSA agent laugh as I caught her making fun of the way I dumped my backpack onto the security conveyor – classic Del Griffith.

"These dogs are barkin'!"

“These dogs are barkin’!”

Life is short. It’s far too short to live as a cynic. Cynics are too busy being cynical to enjoy the curveball moments life throws at us every once in awhile. Life threw me some curveballs today. The Neal Page in me whiffed a few, and the Del hit a few solid singles. For now, I’m enjoying the lightening show playing for me outside my airplane window as the twin Rolls Royce engines on this Embraer jet (it’s amazing what you learn from listening to flight attendant Tom’s in-flight announcements) whisk me home to the DFW Metroplex.

“These dogs are barkin’!” They are, indeed, but they’re happy now. Thanks, Del. Maybe I’m on the right track.

Unnatural Miracle

As much as I travel on business, I am still amazed at the miracle of air travel. “Miracle”, you say? Absolutely. As I zoom across the country 36,000 feet above the Earth in this pressurized metal tube weighing thousands of pounds I can’t help but think that there is something completely unnatural going on here.

I was never really good at physics, but I do have a basic understanding of gravity. Gravity is one of those natural laws that we humans were not physically


Birds (Photo credit: Kenny Teo (zoompict))

designed to conquer. After all, birds flap their wings and fly quite naturally. We humans flap our arms and, while looking a bit ridiculous, we go nowhere. All we can do is stand fixed to the ground and dream of what that bird’s eye view must look like.

Or can we? One advantage we have over the birds of the air is the creativity and ingenuity of the human mind. Man is the only creature capable of devising ways to conquer the natural laws that otherwise bind our bodies. Whether it’s jetting across the earth or exploring the depths of the seas, the human mind can figure it out. In this case, by harnessing the powers of thrust and lift we become like the birds of the air; the bird’s eye view of America’s fruited plains spreads before us as we jet to our destination. And as I pause between typing these sentences to look out the window, I am simultaneously amazed and impressed.

Some believe that man evolved to this state over billions of years. Not me. The idea that this level of ingenuity and creativity somehow evolved out of nothing makes no sense to me. Scripture tells us that God created man in His image. He created man to be in relationship with Him while having dominion over the birds of the air and the fishes of the sea. Thus, man is completely unique. Our ingenuity is no evolutionary accident; it comes by the supernatural design of our Creator. Some were created to invent; others to inspire. We are all gifted by God to contribute in our own way to this marvelous creation. Today, as I jet across this beautiful country of ours, I am especially thankful for the creativity and ingenuity behind the miracle of air travel and I am thankful to God for the men and women who make it happen.

%d bloggers like this: