Dozens of planes sat in a row, lined up by gates as airport attendants, fueling trucks and baggage handlers rushed across the pavement. Arriving planes were quickly being emptied of their luggage and travelers. Departing flights were boarding and readying passengers for flight. The scene was a flurry of air-travel activity.
As I waited for takeoff I watched the airport world unfold from my up-right positioned window seat. Then the boarding door on the EMB-145 closed, engines roared and the plane pushed back from the terminal. We taxied out onto the tarmac, leaving the parked planes, and the bustling activity, in the distance.
The plane moved swiftly towards the runway, then made a sharp turn to the right, and stopped as the pilots voice came over a fuzzy intercom. “Second for take-off. Flight attendants take your seats.”
In that moment, the world around me froze. The plane made its brief pause, stopped on the cusp of the adventure and excitement of lift-off. I could practically feel the impending sensation of the wheels scooping up off the pavement. Suspended between stillness and soaring, anticipation left me breathless.
And then there was movement.
From the soles of my feet I could feel the buzzing of the motor’s engine. The propellers outside my window spun with such force the whole plane shook. With power and determination, the plane picked up speed, moving fast and flooding the cabin with the sound of wings meeting wind. I closed my eyes as I breathed in the thrill of flight.
And then I felt it. Wheels up.
I spread my eyes open wide and eagerly peered through the plastic windowpane as I watched the line of planes below fade off into the distance. With each passing second the grounded massive machines made of steel and rubber became smaller.
And that’s when I noticed it.
Written in bold, painted in blue on the side of every plane lined up along the edge of terminal two was one word. United. Each plane with its own unique destination and flight path was flying United. The dozens of planes below, destined for their own adventures, charting a one-of-a-kind course. They all were United.
And so was I.
From seat 5C, aboard the air-born EMB-145, I glanced out the window to see the plane’s wing and saw the trademark blue and yellow design of United Airlines that claimed ownership of the plane and the flight. Just like the parked planes at the terminal and the string of planes lined up along the runway, I was flying United. Each one of us bound for a unique adventure; each one of us flying under the same banner of ownership, control and protection.
In life no two passengers are taking the same course. Each one is given a unique path to travel. Each is on a one-of-a-kind route, with take-offs and landings, unlike any other. But each one of us can fly united. We all can fly under the same banner of ownership, control and protection. We can all fly united with Christ.