I am getting ready to fly home from Soldotna, Alaska with three, fifty-pound boxes of frozen sockeye salmon. One thing I know for sure is that there will be several roadblocks that I will have to deal with before I get home. I fly out of Kenai to Anchorage on a tiny, single-engine plane that holds eight people, and they can’t take the weight of the 150 lbs of fish, so they will fly it to Anchorage on three different flights. I will need to retrieve the boxes individually and check them in at Anchorage for Portland. I just got an email from Alaska airlines that said there were increased security measures installed in Anchorage and that it would take three hours to get checked through. I have exactly three hours between when I land in Anchorage and then take off again. Whooooeee it is starting already! Because I have flown so much over the years I have established my list of guidelines for managing the unexpected without losing any more of my hair.
1. I plan on there being a number of problems, roadblocks, and issues before I get home so that when they happen I am not surprised or frustrated by them, I am just waiting to see what they are.
2. I choose to look at the problems that I will encounter as adventures and challenges that stretch me and add to my character, and never say or think, “why me, Lord ?”
3. When an unexpected problem happens I ask myself this question, “can I solve or fix this problem?” If I think I can, I go after it, but if my assessment is that I can’t get around it, I just go with the flow without any fussing.
4. Some problems can be solved only one way, that is with some extra money. I establish the maximum amount extra I will pay and stick with that.
5. Most problems need other people’s help or cooperation to solve. I work hard to make an appeal to those people for the help I need, with lots of graciousness. If I want to receive help it is essential that I don’t demand, accuse, get angry or irritated.
6. I have read through the Bible and highlighted every prayer in the Bible in blue to use those prayers as a guideline in my praying. There are several one-word prayers in Psalms, “Help!” So, I pray silently in my heart a lot while traveling, “Help me, Lord, please!”
7. Every time a problem is solved, I am careful to pray, “Thank You, Lord, ” and when I pick up my luggage and fish at the Portland airport and text Patty to come and get me, I pray, “Dear Lord, thank You for the wonderful trip, the unique challenges that You brought into my life to grow me, and the help You provided, I love You.”