Are you gellin’? The question on the Dr. Scholl’s shoe pad inserts was the same question ringing in airports all over the country, including Albuquerque International where Cami & I flew out of to return home after National Collegiate Week.
We learned of the issue on the rental car shuttle as we headed to the terminal. From who? None other than Greg Pinkner who was one of the keynote speakers at the conference. After filling us in on the situation, he provided an important and humorous reminder, “if our planes get hijacked and we die, remember that you’re martyrs.”
After checking our bags, we rounded the corner to encounter the longest security check-in line I’ve ever seen, particularly at 5:45 AM. We made it through the long lines unschathed with a few less bottles of shampoo. I’m also unsure what we are going to do tonight about brushing our teeth since we had to throw out our toothpaste. As we passed by the bins of gels & liquids, it looked like a cross between a pharmacy, a makeup counter and a liquor store.
While most people handled the situation in stride, there was common phenomenon among most folks…complaining about the violation of their personal rights. It served as a great reminder of how God calls us to be set apart through our reactions and responses to the frustrations of life. Philippians 2:14-15 reads:
14Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, 16holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
Paul commands us to do all things (including waiting in long security lines and throwing away personal hygiene products) without complaining. Why? Because it sets us apart from the world. The world has every reason to complain at the frustrations of life because their joy is fixed on worldly, temporary circumstances. But the believer has no reason to complain at the frustrations of life because their joy is fixed on the eternal unchanging Christ.
Paul also points out a link between not complaining (v. 14) and holding fast to the word of life (v. 16). Hiding the word of God in our hearts allows us to have the peace of God in our hearts in the midst of frustration. While gels and liquids may be a thing of the past on planes, living a complaint-free life is to be a present reality for followers of Christ.