Blessings – (Chance The Rapper)
“Folks we are approaching a rather large group of clouds…we should experience some turbulence so please remain seated with your seat belts fastened and we will get you through this as quickly as we can. Thank you.” – Delta 1277 Captain
I remember hearing the clicking sound over the intercom as the captain had just finished his announcement. I was woken up on my flight by it and I looked up a few rows and made eye contact with my friend I was flying with…both of us feeling a little uneasy. But it’s not because I’m afraid of flying or the many dangers involved… dying is definitely not a fear of mine anymore, at all (I should have been dead a couple times before this through the lifestyle and choices of my past) but my uneasiness with flying is more about the motion sickness/claustrophobic combination feeling that comes over me every time I board a flight. Because no matter what, I always seem to get a seat somewhere around the row 30 range toward the the back of the plane. You too? Well about a week ago I was traveling quite a bit. I flew from Memphis – Atlanta – Orlando – Minneapolis – Las Vegas – Atlanta – Memphis in that order and all in the same week. So on boarding my final flight from Atlanta to Memphis I was just exhausted…I was worn out…and just needed some help getting home. I said a little short prayer as I found my seat…I closed my eyes for a second and I just prayed for a smooth flight but this time that I would also be able to speak to someone who sat next to me on the plane. In all my other flights in the week I slept a lot and hardly said a word to anyone. But this time I just wanted to talk to someone. I wanted some good conversation…because I love people! I really do, complete strangers fascinate me because I know the strong possibility I will never encounter them again…and you never know what kind of impact you can make on a complete stranger.
I was the first on my row as I sat down in the aisle seat 30 D. So if you were me and looking toward the front of the plane I had two seats directly to my left (a window and middle seat) and across the aisle to my right were two seats together. So I started the waiting process…you know the part where you stare at the slow moving line of people walking towards you, all the time wondering who will be the one to sit next to you (but it’s never the person that you think it will be). Finally a couple walks up, a lady and her husband. I quickly get up and let them in their seats. The husband takes the window seat and the woman takes the seat in the middle next to me. Now I know what you’re thinking next…we start talking right away! Actually not at all…in fact we didn’t even say a word to each other… not even a hello…I even slept again directly from the take off…
Waking up a second time I checked my watch and knew the flight was getting close to the end. Time was running out…and all I had to do was say something I kept thinking…I was starting to think thoughts to God saying “Ok not today God? Was my prayer heard? Why am I afraid?” But just as I was thinking, my thoughts were interrupted as the drink cart stops right at our row 30 and Delta 1277 Captain comes back on the intercom – “Ladies and gentlemen we are now making our final decent into Memphis, please return your trays to the upright position and make sure seat belts are fastened, flight attendants please prepare for landing, we should be landing shortly. Thank you.” I didn’t have time to order something since the attendant had to return the cart. And then it happened… The woman next to me initiated conversation and said , “Well it looked like you were just about to order a drink?” I smiled and said “Yes mam…I was.” She said I must be from the south and we immediately just started talking non-stop to each other from that moment all the way until we walked through the jetway together…Everything, and I mean everything, was good about our conversation. She was traveling with her husband from Pennsylvania to see her daughter. They lived in the same state where I used to work and we talked all about that! She told me all about her family. I told her about mine. Her son was an artist and had a passion for music just like me and we talked all about that too! She said I reminded her so much of her son and I told her she reminded me so much of my mom! Then out of nowhere she started talking about how excited she was that her daughter had found a church she really likes…so I told her I go to church too…and she just smiled really big and said “You know church really is a good thing…a good church is a good home. And you need a good home to have a good family…”
She finally told me how her and her husband had switched seats on the flight at the last minute and also had hoped and prayed to be sitting beside someone they could have a good conversation with too…She told me she always jokes with her family that she should have been an investigator because she can profile people really well. So I asked her what her thoughts were when she walked up to me on row 30 D…and she said, “Well I chose to sit next to you instead of my husband because I just had a really good feeling when I saw you…you looked like a nice young man…and there was just something about you…and you know what? I think us sitting together on this flight… I think it’s a GOD thing…”
Is God with us everywhere we go? Does He hear the little short prayers we pray? How important is it to show love in the little opportunities that God blesses us with? What do you want your destination to be? It’s a good question…with an even better answer!
“I’m gon’ praise him, praise him till I’m gone. I’m gon’ praise him, praise him till I’m gone. When the praises go up, the blessings come down. I don’t make songs for free I make ’em for freedom. Don’t believe in kings, believe in the kingdom…”
Chance The Rapper, born Chancelor Bennett, is an American hip hop recording artist from the West Chatham neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. Son of Ken Williams-Bennett, who has worked as aide to Barack Obama and now a deputy chief of staff to Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chance had different aspirations to become a rapper since he was a youth. In November 2014, Chance was named Chicago’s Outstanding Youth of the Year from his many campaigns to help combat gun violence in Chicago. When asked about his faith and how he can reach others with “Blessings” from his third mixtape titled Coloring Book, Chance replies, “I still think that God means everything to everyone whether they understand it or not or can really see it for themselves or they find God…I have imperfections as a man and artist…but we’re not free unless we can talk about God.”
Joshua 1:9 | Be STRONG and COURAGEOUS. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
God is always with you…and when you pray, even if it’s just a little prayer…just have faith and be patient. Wait for God’s blessings to come…because they are gonna come… Sometimes we just feel uneasy, and we just need some help…I always wanted help when I battled my past life. I lost my connection to God and wanted those dots to be reconnected…I wanted my family back…I wanted my home back…I wanted my church back…I wanted God back. But who are you allowing in your family and in your home? It’s easy for us to get caught up in things and sometimes it can be the people and places we surround ourselves in. Look I preach love and I will never give up on the friends I have made in my life…even in my darkest days…but a wise man said choose your friends, don’t let them choose you…
I used to always hear my mom tell me her stories about traveling on airplanes and how God would place people next to her at the right time. She always told me it was GOD thing too…(just like the woman said on my plane!). Sometimes I would just nod my head and be like “Ok mom…sure…” but it is so true! I always wanted to experience that too so this time I just prayed for it…and God blessed me with an opportunity. Nothing about my flight home was a coincidence…it was all a true blessing from God. It was a God thing… Just like the song, “when the praises go up…the blessings come down.” Always be on the lookout for these little opportunities that become the biggest blessings…show love to strangers…and don’t be afraid! Why would you be? God will get you through that turbulence in your life…he’s the captain of your plane and will guide you home…God will get you to your destination through His abundant = LOVE. Nothing is impossible…
(Listen below to Blessings by Chance The Rapper)
(Feature post photo by Ross Parmly)
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