Today is a travel day.
We were up early and, after a good breakfast at the Taj in Lusaka, we were off to the airport to catch our flight to Johannesburg.
A smooth flight and then we were again waiting at yet another airport for yet another flight – for me flight number 9 of this trip – this time to Entebbe, Uganda. The time passed quickly and pleasantly in a coffee shop, reading a book and watching four Airbus 380’s (the really BIG ones) that we’re parked almost together.
Another uneventful (just the way I like them!) flight to Uganda – although we were treated to quite a show of lightening to the east during our final approach and landing in Entebbe. Once we landed and made our way through immigration, we waited … and waited … and waited for our ride. After almost an hour, we decided to get our own ride to our hotel in Kampala. This proved to be quite an adventure as we first had to determine which “hotel shuttle” was real and which was a scam. In the end we chose well (despite PT’s misgivings), but the 30 minute ride turned into an hour and a half, including more than 30 minutes spent standing absolutely still, as a result of the (alleged) arrival of the president – during which time the police apparently shut all of the roads!! As it turns out, our host was caught in the same traffic snarl, hence the failure to meet us at the airport.
Travel, as it turns out, can be quite a good metaphor for the way we are to live our lives. In “Wind, Sand and Stars”, his memoir about his travels in the 1930’s, French aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery writes: “He who would travel happily must travel light.” How true that is for all aspects of life – including the spiritual one. How many things do we pick up and carry around with us in our “spiritual suitcases” that are absolutely unnecessary? How many things in life that we strive to hold on to with such urgency could we simply let go of, thereby lightening our load and increasing the true joy we experience in life? The African church has taught me this lesson – and more so with each successive visit. Obedience to God matters. Justice and righteousness matter. Very little else truly does.