last week, as i was traveling home from a couple of weeks in the states, i had a frustrating and eye-opening experience.
my first flight was nine hours of massive discomfort trying to sleep in an economy seat cruelly designed for people much shorter and skinnier than myself. my chair didn’t recline and the armrest had broken piece that kept digging into my hip. the gentleman sitting beside me was about 6 ft. 5 in. so, together, we were both trying to “politely” get as much leg room as we could to keep circulation going down to our feet… not easy.
definitely not comfortable.
having dozed through the in-flight meal, i arrived in amsterdam hungry, sore and frustrated. i had a nine hour layover. i started walking around the airport trying to think of how to pass nine hours…
being a true-blue matheny, food was first on my agenda… i headed upstairs to a food-court and paid WAY TOO MUCH for a burger and a coke. only partially satiated, i continued to walk around. only 8 hours and 20 more minutes to go…. sheesh….
i walked and walked, browsed in the stores, watched people, drank from the water fountain, walked some more…. only 20 more minutes gone by…
i went back up to the restaurants to find coffee and somewhere to chill and out of the corner of my eye, i saw this…
beautiful, inviting, warm… and somewhere in the back of my mind, i thought i remembered my dad telling me something about my ticket and a lounge i could rest in… am i allowed in there??? as i contemplated walking in to ask, the magical glass doors open and out walk a group of business men in expensive suits. at the same time, a couple of ladies from behind me walked in… they had super high heels and expensive smelling perfume. i stood there in my jeans, t-shirt and $3 body spray from walmart, watched as they were greeted by the hostess, and feeling sufficiently assured that i would not be allowed in, turned around and went to search for my coffee. for which i paid $9 (like, 800/=!!)
i found a place to sit and i waited and waited. as time went by, i started to feel the effects of the way-too-expensive caffeine wearing off and my long night of battling the tall guy for leg space coming on.
i contorted myself in my chair to try to get some sleep.
then it got cold.
and i didn’t have a sweater or jacket.
finally, exhaustion, cold and tearful frustration meshed together to create a desperate boldness. i went back up to the lounge.
the crown lounge.
i walked in and hesitantly went to the ladies behind the desk.
“i’m not sure i should be here,” i said to one of them.
she asked to see my ticket, which i sheepishly handed over, fully expecting her to turn me away.
but she looked up at me, smiled, and said these words…
“yes. you should be here.”
i walked around the desk and what did i see? a buffet. soups and salads. bread. stew. fruit and cheese and …. oh my gosh!! a cuppucino maker!! all for FREE! all for me!!! huge, big chairs!
places to rest comfortably! warm carpets on the floor… it had been here for the 8 hours i had been suffering downstairs…
it was all just waiting for me to claim it!!
i felt relieved and FOOLISH at the same time!
HOW could i not have had the boldness to ask before?!?
well… i enjoyed my one hour in the crown lounge, then onto my next flight.. 🙂
here’s what i thought… my wonderful dad has spent YEARS travelling in uncomfortable seats, spent hours on long layovers in freezing airports… he’s done it all, and as the result of the price he paid, i now get to enjoy the benefits of all the miles he’s travelled.
he paid the price – i get the reward.
i’m not the rich businessman or the ladies in high heels and designer perfume.
i’m the chic in jeans and walmart body spray.
but i belong here too. why? cuz dad made the way.
i just have to walk in and enjoy it.
if i remain outside because i’m intimidated and not sure i qualify… well, that’s sad. and that’s how SO MANY of us are as believers… we’re outside, cold, hungry, being “ripped off,” when the free-flowing cuppucino is just WAITING for us! our DAD has paid the price for us to enter the “crown lounge”… we are royalty! we qualify!!
so… in case you are tired, sore, hungry and frustrated from the journey… you need to remember the price has already been paid for you…
yes… you should be here…