Last time, I noted about getting lost in my work on the plane only to have the spell broken by a small moment; noticing the interesting things done by fellow passengers as I wandered up the aisle.
My friend Cindy commented that a similar phenomenon happens to her. I loved how she described it: You get so caught up in work that it feels like you’re viewing an endless film that loops over and over. What you’re seeing is no longer meaningful, yet you can’t pull yourself away.
And then, finally, something distracts you. You actually notice some small thing or moment that changes everything.
But what causes that initial distraction? Coincidence? Accident? Synchronicity? Random event? Too much caffeine?
At the heart of all I personally believe about meaningful travel lies the assumption that everything that happens to us on a trip is there for a reason. That’s why I can go almost anywhere in the world and find it meaningful; I believe that God has me there for a purpose if I will but notice.
What’s that purpose? Ask me in about two million years. I have no idea most of the time…at least at the moment. But I get enough glimpses to know that more than random events are at play here. As someone once said, incidences like these may be coincidences, but those coincidences happen a lot more often when you pray. Or when you actively go looking for God amidst the small moments of everyday life. Or when he graciously steps in on his own and reminds you, as he did me on the plane, that there is more to life than I’m currently realizing.
I tend to assume that nothing is too big for God. But far too often, I forget this: nothing is too small for him either.
Everything matters to God, from sparrows and the hairs of our heads to helping us refocus when we don’t even realize we need to. That’s a wild thought that seems almost academic until you walk down an aisle of a plane and find that seeing a book on birds or a person making notes to a musical score suddenly changes your world.
Quite often, these small moments or incidents have the greatest impact on us because they come at the perfect time. They happen not by any savvy planning on our part but are delivered as gifts from a God for whom there is no such thing as a small moment.