Gratefulness from the Airport Radiator


My Friday night was spent at an airport. Laying on the radiator in DCA to be exact. I was hungry, and my hips hurt as I tried to use my AKA shirt as a cushion between my side and the cold metal it rested on. My friend, she slept on a chair, with her legs propped up on her luggage. As we awaited our morning flight to Dallas I couldn't help but think about the people who have to do this each evening. Those who endure restless nights and uncomfortable sleeps. Those who have to, much like we did, wander aimlessly each night finding a new spot to lay their head - while everyone else walks by. Those whose beds are metal radiators in abandoned buildings. 

But this post isn't about how blessed we are in light of those less fortunate, it's about gratefulness. It's about appreciating the many things you do have and the varying feats you may go through to get them. It's about acknowledging the beauty in the bad situations. It's about accepting what's thrown our way. 

It was about 2:30 in the morning when I finally got comfortable. When I finally realized laying on my side looking out the window, with my hands folded on my suitcase and my head resting on my hands, was my best option; when I realized that this is where I'd be for the night so I 'best get comfortable'. And while it was an annoying journey from the minute we got to LaGuardia, I realized that I was going to Dallas. I realized that I was heading to TD Jake's MegaFest, a spiritual festival that two-weeks prior I was merely praying to be able to attend. As I laid on that radiator, uneasy and exhausted, I realized that I was there because I was blessed enough to be able to travel. To be able to buy another flight out that next morning, since American Airlines didn't want to be held accountable for the flight delay causing us to miss our connecting flight. I realized that the entire reason I was there - the reason I was stuck sleeping at the airport in the first place - was a blessing. I was heading to a convention of fellowship, with Christ-lovers, to be spiritually fed. I wasn't going to return to Connecticut the same way I'd left, and I certainly wasn't going to return to LaGuardia with the same attitude I had when I arrived there. There was plenty to be grateful for as I laid there, freezing cold, with my arms wrapped in a shirt from my suitcase. There was plenty to be excited about, despite the uncomfortable few hours I'd foresee. 

I was blessed despite me sleeping in the DC airport and arriving to my final destination a day late. I was being set-up for a life shift, and was being distracted by the other things that were shifting with it. It happens often. Our minds are taken off the gift and put on to the trouble we went through unwrapping it. We stop appreciating the blessings and start looking at the burdens it may cause; how much time our new job occupies, or how annoying cooking for our new man may be. We go from grateful to ingrates with one disruption, because we decide to be hung up on the bad, instead of the good. 

So what storm have you endured that you should probably be grateful for? What have you dealt with that has taken you out of your element but was truly for greater? What sudden discomfort have you dealt with that was a blessing you're failing to recognize? 

Things won't always come to us beautifully packaged. Breakthroughs won't always come without casualties. We must make the conscious decision to find the good things buried in all the bad. It is then - and only then - that we can truly be grateful for everything. And, that's just one revelation I received while laying on that airport radiator. 

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