Just for fun, I checked my pedometer for our ‘travel’ day: It reads 11,598 steps.
No wonder, then, that it feels like I walked half of the way home from the Holy Land.
Airports are no picnic, are they? And we found ourselves trekking through four of them as we made our way home: Ben Gurion, Frankfurt, Chicago/O’Hare and St. Louis/Lambert.
Each time, it seemed, our planes were scheduled to depart / arrive from the furthest gate. (Although when it comes to Frankfurt, I’m not sure how you’d check this assertion: It’s a terminal that seemingly — and ironically — has no end.)
While I did my best to remain cheerful throughout the night-turned-into-never-ending-day, I was admittedly running a quart or two low on shalom by the time we reached Chicago.
There, for reasons that remain unclear to me, our carry-ons received the most vigorous inspections of the entire trip. (Could the screening agents somehow have detected that we are Cardinal fans?)
Suffice it to say, I was in no mood to be trifled with. Fortunately, I am married to a kind and level-headed woman. Her gentle spirit and wise counsel kept me from popping off about the perceived indignities…and eventually we were permitted to go on our way.
Just another example of how she is “Christ” to me, I suppose. When the world presents temptations for me to start acting a fool, Gerri somehow manages to channel a saving grace my way.
It’s definitely tough duty, in part because of the Evil One’s relentlessness — as Jesus Himself discovers in the Gospel passage we hear on this, the first Sunday of Lent:
When the devil had finished every temptation, he departed from [Jesus] for a time. (Luke 4:13)
Let us remember that we are in the presence of the Holy and Merciful One.