When I was at the airport heading home over the weekend, there was a group of college students sitting next to me coming home from their spring break trip to New York.
At first, they were lamenting about our flight being delayed four hours and how we had nothing to do but be stuck at the airport (bummer).
Then, their conversation shifted to how selfish they are for complaining about their situation, when there are so many other situations they could be in that are much, much worse.
Then, it became a deeper conversation about how important it is to stop focusing so much on ourselves – that one of our sole purposes in life is to love others above ourselves. They said that by fulfilling that purpose, we will feel much happier and less empty, because giving love can make you just as whole as receiving it.
I know this sounds like it escalated quickly, but in reality, it was a conversation that took place over the course of four hours while we were stuck at the airport.
Then, they quoted one of my favorite books:
“If we’re not willing to wake up every morning and die to ourselves, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not we are really following Jesus.”
As I was listening to their conversation (like a creep), I was thinking two things:
1. I really like these people, and I want to be their friend. Would it be weird if I asked to be their friend?
2. This is a great reminder, especially going into Holy Week. I spend most of my time thinking about myself, how uncomfortable I am, and what I can do to make myself more comfortable. (Sitting at the airport because a delayed flight interrupted my plans is a perfect example of that thought process.) But I always forget that life isn’t a story about me.
I’m just a tiny part of a much bigger story, and it involves a lot of other people too.
After all, Jesus taught me how to sacrifice everything in order to know and love others, even if I don’t always like them.
By simply putting others above myself, I think I would find that my life is much more fulfilling and meaningful. It made me homesick for my family and friends, who think and live this way and are generally better people than I am, and it also reminded me of this idea that I’m trying to carry with me throughout the rest of the week (and the rest of my life, for that matter).
So, thanks for sharing, strangers at the airport!