Mar 11, 2009

I arrived, but my suitcase didn't

Have you ever been the last person standing at the carousel to pick up your luggage? Have you ever had the carousel stop and suddenly realize that your bags didn't come out?  It's a horrible feeling. The first stage is denial. You will go around to every bag to make sure that yours really is lost. The next stage is confusion. You will ask yourself, "Should I go seek help?" "What if the bag comes down the chute while I'm away". The last stage is anger. Because at this point you suddenly realize how totally unhelpful the airlines is.


The latest statistical data I could find was for 2005. In that year there were 660 million airline passengers. And in 2005 there were approximately 2 to 3 million pieces of lost luggage. That's 3 lost bags for every 1000 passengers. I guess that's not too bad, unless you happen to be one of them.


When my daughter, Kyrie, lost her luggage, the airlines actually found it. It arrived at our front doorstep the following day. I was thankful I didn't have to make another trip to the airport. But the same study showed that there are 200,000 pieces of luggage each year that are never recovered. The bags are permanently lost. I can tell you right now that I would be REALLY upset if Southwest Airlines lost my Spiderman pajamas.


But I don't think I would be as upset as Jesse Maiman. The 21-year-old Yale student was flying from New Haven, Connecticut to Cincinnati, Ohio. His luggage arrived, but his precious cargo did not. Boy is he mad. Last week he filed a lawsuit against US Airways seeking $1700 to replace the precious cargo. He is also adding $1 million for pain and suffering. Oh by the way you might be interested in knowing what the precious cargo was. It was a tricked-out Xbox 360 game station.


Someone should look through his mom's closet. She probably figured her 21-year old son should be doing something more constructive than traveling the country with a game station. My guess is that he came home from college and spent the whole time playing on his Xbox. She probably took it right before he left for the airport.


It makes you wonder whatever happens to lost luggage. Where does one hide 200,000 suitcases? Being lost is a horrible feeling. But we can be confident that we are never like a lost suitcase. Once Jesus puts His tags on us, we are His forever. No matter what happens in this life we can be confident that we will arrive at the front door of our Father's heavenly mansion.


I actually lost a piece of luggage once. I once arrived in Denver with a surveying tripod. After all the bags came, the tripod box never did. I waited in line and asked customer service what I should do. After I described the box to her she asked, "Did you check the large-item carousel?"  You see at DIA they have a special carousel for golf clubs and skis. I went to the carousel and there was my lonely tripod box. I was so embarrassed.




Pastor David Hook

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