Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A good conversation on a plane.

Recently I (Chris) flew east so that I could attend a conference in Nashville and see my Dad and sister for a few days. On my stupidly early flight from San Francisco I was pleased to find that I was by the window with no one next to me. This is a great comfort to large people (and probably to smaller people too). It’s that little extra breathing room and the ability to uncross your arms and be comfy for the flight. Well, as comfy as you can be belted into a metal tube with wings at thousands of feet. Oh, when you have no one next to you and that door closes...ahhhh!

I was seated in a 3 banger row. I had the window and an older man was sitting in the aisle seat. I noticed he was reading a Christian biography about a martyr in Soviet Russia. He smiled at me and I said ‘hello’ and that was all it took to spark a great conversation. This man was so friendly and his eyes were very kind.

I was sitting next to a retired 4 star general in the Egyptian air force. He was so pleased to find out I was in Christian ministry. He had been 9 years in the U.S. to be with his children and grandchildren. He attends an evangelical church in the Bay area but every now and then visits the Coptic church to hear scripture in his own language.

What did I learn from him?

I learned about lift. 

Here are the notes from the private lecture he gave me (he taught this stuff to cadets). He is so passionate about flight and LOVES to talk about it. Even though I don’t really care about how flight works, his talk drew me in.

“Flight is one of the things man accomplished before he understood it! We did it, then we learned how it worked.”

I learned about Egypt. 

“Egypt is so much more than what you see on the news. Most people want peace. We love to laugh. We love to share food. Even my Muslim brothers treat me this way. It is the very few that want to cause trouble.”

I learned that people seldom appreciate the wonders around them.

“Many Egyptians do not understand or care to learn about ancient Egypt. many have not gone to see the pyramids!”

Me: “I know quite a few people in California that have never been to Yosemite!”

“Yes, like that.”

I learned that if you turn off your iPod or put down your book, every once in a while, you’ll be glad you did.

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