My schedule recently called for me to do some traveling involving airplanes. I am not a fan of airplanes, but airports are something else altogether. They seem to be like a mall. Whatever you want, you can find it in an airport. The bigger the airport, the more you can find.
I was sitting in an airport restaurant waiting for my plane and simply enjoying myself. I watched the people go by and inside I was laughing and making fun of them. I play a little game when I am all by myself. If only they knew what I was thinking about as they walked by, they would come over and give me a stern look. I have never seen a person that I cannot make fun of, including that raspy looking person in my bathroom mirror. It is the sort of game you can play when you are all by yourself with nothing else to do.
I was sipping my umpteenth cup of coffee when I happened to notice several people walking by who were sneezing. At first I did not think too much of it, but then I began to notice more and more people sneezing. Is there a sneezing epidemic going on that I have not heard of yet?
I tried not to pay attention to it and went back to my game of "Who Can I Make Fun of Now?"
Maybe it was programmed into my head at the time, but I could not help noticing every other person walking by heading for an airplane was either sneezing or sniffling or coughing. I thought to myself, "Self, I sure hope they are not on our plane?"
I finally got to my gate and waited to board the airplane and then take off. I was checking some things on my cell phone when I heard a person behind me sneeze. Not only did they sneeze, but they sneezed half a dozen times and it just about drove me crazy. I know the road to crazy for me is rather a short drive, but I hate taking that road.
It dawned on me at the time that the person behind me doing all the sneezing was also waiting to get on the same plane I was going to board in a few minutes. Why can't they check your sneezing at the gates before you come in so that you do not have to take it on board the plane? I mean, after all, they check for everything else!
Finally, my number was called and I began boarding the airplane. I noticed in front of me was the man who was doing all of the sneezing. I whispered to myself, "Self, I hope he has certainly got all of the sneeze out of him."
We finally were seated and it takes me quite a while to get buckled in. Whoever designed planes designed them with the seven Disney dwarfs in mind. To get that belt around me and buckled is a great accomplishment. I would not say I am oversized, just that I am post thin, and by the time I squeezed myself into the seat and strapped myself in with the buckle it is about all I can do to breathe.
On this flight, I happen to be seated in the middle. There would be a person on my right and a person on my left. It was at that time I prayed that they would be skinny and healthy. Two gentlemen came in, one on my left, the other on my right. By the time we all got in and buckled, none of us could move one way or the other.
We smiled at each other and then the plane took off and we were airborne. I happened to notice at the time that nobody on the plane was sneezing, coughing, or even sniffling. I sighed a deep sigh and then it happened to me.
I am not quite sure how all of this happens, but I felt it the in the bottom of my lungs a pre-sneeze condition. At that point, I knew exactly what was coming and I did not know how to deal with it.
When you sneeze on an airplane, you cannot turn to your left or to your right because people are sitting there. What is a person to do? If I look up and sneeze, it will all come down on me.
Then I remembered the people I knew when they had to sneeze, sneezed into their arm. I raised my right arm just as I was about to sneeze, and boy did I sneeze.
Whenever I sneeze, it always has to be in triplets. I sneezed three times in my arm and when I came out from that arm, it was drooping and dripping with all sorts of gunk that came from somewhere deep inside of me. What do you do with gunk like that on an airplane?
As I was trying to think about what to do, a verse of Scripture came to my mind. "How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying" (1 Corinthians 14:26).
It is hard to discipline yourself to do only those things that edify other people. That is the challenge of the Christian life.