Early this morning my alarm clock blared with excitement, yelling at me to get moving. Today is the day. A plane departs at 6:30am bound for Costa Rica and it won’t wait on me to get there. Bags were packed and loaded and before the sun shot its rays into the sky the engines of the jet were roaring with anticipation to get in the air.
I felt almost as if my entire family came with me on my first leg from BHM to ATL. The beautiful colors of orange and blue were strewn about the concourse. After we located our seats the captain greeted us over the intercom. (Bing!)“Good morning and WAR EAGLE!” Even at 6am a crowd erupts from the sound of those words. It was nice that the Auburn family decided to join me, even though really they were headed toward the big game and I was in route to another piece of the world.
In the Atlanta terminal the friendly voice from the ceiling began to call us to board. “All medallion, first class, elite, awesome passengers please board the plane now.” She stated. I glanced up slowly, threw own my backpack, and rose to my feet. I felt as if it were in slow motion while triumphant O’ Fortuna was playing in the background of my mind. For once in my life, she was talking to me. Disclaimer** Let me make it clear I am not spending missionary donations on first class international tickets, fortunately I had frequent flyer miles donated to me for my ticket round trip… first class. (Thanks Pops.) As I walked across the medallion member rug laid out for across the carpet specifically for elite passengers, a sense of guilt overcame me. About six minutes later... it left. I soaked in first class with gratitude. I lounged in my luxurious seat, ate filet mignon and shrimp, and realized they wouldn’t let my cup of steaming coffee reach the bottom. It was nice.
The wheels screeched against the runway and the plane jolted to a stop. I made it; Costa Rica. Lush green trees overcame lush green trees. Thick jungle was painted up the side of a dormant volcano. The vibrant colors of the culture filled my eyes as they tried to adjust to the differences. The low murmur of Spanish was all around me. Wil and his mother picked me up and we began the drive over the Mountain of Death.
That is really what it is called. A huge mountain labeled the Mountain of Death because of so many travelers back in the day would not make it to their destination after beginning the trek. I sure am glad they told me on the accent up and didn’t decide to break that news after completing the journey safely. (If that statement were bread and sarcasm were butter, you wouldn’t want to eat those words.)
We went all the way to the top, gazed up beautiful landscapes, and began the trip down. Joining us in the altitude were the clouds causing it difficult to see at times. We made down and to our destination after a few hours of weaving turns. I don’t know words to describe the amazing beauty of this place. I have realized again that God is such a great God with creativity that we cannot fathom. Seeing magnificent volcanoes with their tips peaking through clouds clearly illustrated the beauty of our Creator. Earlier, as my plane flew over the Caribbean, I could see the coastline of the Florida’s tip topped by the Keys, and I could almost hear God’s voice hovering over the waters saying, “Let the water under the sky be gathered into one place, and let dry ground appear.” (Gen. 1)
This morning I write this from a hammock on Wil’s deck that overlooks Costa Rica’s verdant countryside. A hot cup of Costa Rican coffee is steaming at my side, cool air breezing around me as I can hear the rooster’s crow and songs of tropical birds. I can imagine most reading this awoke this morning to put on layer over layer over layer to face the frigid temperatures and shovel snow from the ice storm the south has been panicking about. One snowflake and Birmingham shuts down. After getting out of bed, I slipped on my flip flops…
It has been nice flying first class and lounging in hammocks, but the rest of the week we are preparing for the team coming on Thursday. Busyness will hit and the grind will begin. We will spend many hours with teams callusing our hands. I pray that Christ uses my hands to show his love and blesses this ministry that he has created through Wil.