Holding Pattern

The long flight was nearing an end. The destination was at hand. Everyone was strapped into their seats awaiting touchdown and taxiing to the terminal. I was aware of the sun shining through my window, then shadow. The next thing I knew, the sun was shining through the windows on the opposite side of the plane. Not unusual. Often the plane has to land from the opposite direction.

A few minutes later, the sun was once again shining through my window, then its opposite. The pattern repeated itself again. We were in a holding pattern. The pilot said nothing. Neither did the flight attendants. All was quiet. “Why,” I asked myself, “are we in a holding pattern?” The flight had been longer than any I had ever experienced. I was tired. I could speculate what the reasons might have been.

Could there have been an accident on the runway? An emergency landing that needed to be cleared away? Perhaps the terminal was shut down because of a terrorist threat. Maybe not. It could have been as simple as the gate was still not available. This was a busy airport.

Or, I could pick up my book and read another chapter or two. Forget the worry. Forget the anxiety attacks. Forget my weariness and enjoy another few minutes before I had to tackle the crowds and formalities of the post-landing rush.

We are in a holding pattern. I am reasonably well, so I do not need immediate treatment. That is good, though I still need to stay out of crowds and away from people who may be sick. My local oncologist wants to see me in a month. Things at MD Anderson are still on hold. The clinical trial I am scheduled to participate in is still not open. The latest word is that the protocol for admission is still being devised.

We have options. We could worry and fret and wish something would happen. Or, we could lean back, pick up our Kindles and read another book. Yes, we could pray, and we do. I believe, however, that once you place something in God’s hands, it is best to leave it there. Continually harping to the Father seems too much, at least for me, like trying to wrestle things out of God’s hands and taking them back in my own. I trust Him. His timing is not my timing. His plans are not my plans. His ways are not my ways. (Isaiah 55:8)

I trust Father, so I pick up my Kindle and peacefully read another book.

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