Another potential extravaganza with Delta buddy passes. I set out for Kona, Hawaii early this morning from South Bend, Indiana. I am the lucky recipient of these “buddy” passes from time to time. Friends who work for Delta give them to me. They are so much cheaper than paying for a full fair, but you fly stand-by. I picked the route a while back to be South Bend-Minneapolis-L.A.-Kona, Hawaii. 3 flights, should be easy. I have had good fortune, but some have not. My sister got all the way to L.A. trying to get to Hawaii to start her staff position, got stranded there for days, could not get on a flight, and had to pay full fair for the one way to complete the journey. Tragic.
Anyway, I stayed up through the night, woke Mom at 530am, and we set off for South Bend. It was quiet and awesome not to be dealing with O’hare in Chicago. I made that flight no problem with seats to spare. Minneapolis was close with only 3 open seats, but the last leg, the LAX-Kona was rammed full. Totally sold out. The guy there repeatedly told me to forget it. “It’s not gonna happen bro.” I Checked the boards for other Hawaii flights and there were 2 more to Honolulu, but that would mean money for an inter-island flight to Kona. I would try that if this failed. They have this board where they list the stand-by names, the “cleared” names, and the seating charts for the airplane. My name was the only one there. Something like 24 seats first class, 24 seats taken, 0 open. 278 seats coach, 278 taken, 0 open. Not good. So I park it and resolve to sit til the plane backs away from the terminal. It’s a nail-biter and I’m trying not to be anxious. These are the times when I am thinking, “Don’t worry. It’s in God’s hands. Whatever happens is supposed to happen.” Making deals with the Lord, if I make it I’ll do this or that. Not really. I don’t think making deals with God works anyway. Just superstition. I ask and leave it at that. Time goes by, every last passenger at the gate boards and it’s empty where I am. Just the agents and me. They bring final paperwork out and just sit back and start texting on their phones. I ask one more time and the guy tells me there is a delayed flight with 3 passengers on it. If they don’t make it, you’re in. Awesome. I sit again. Then, up run the 3 guys, thank God they made it. I’m depressed. Still determined to see it roll back, I wait. Eventually, he calls me up and tells me there is a seat if I want it at 24F. “Well, yes. I want it! What do you think I have been sitting here for?” I didn’t say that. I thought it. I race on the plane and sit next to this older couple from Minnesota. I am nervous thinking they might yank me off the at any moment. Finally we move back and we’re gone! I was so happy-and still am. I am typing this from the YWAM base in Kona at a table under a huge Banyan tree.
All that to say thank you to Shaggy for giving me the pass, and people like you, Mom, who were praying I would get here without a hitch. “The prayer of a righteous man (or woman) availeth much.” Praise God for his good gifts.
In about 15 minutes, I am meeting with my sister, Weeze, who is here doing a School of Biblical Studies which is awesome! The plan is to be in Kona til 2/2, then to Honolulu til 2/4 and then off to New Zealand and it’s on!