When was the last time you sat down for eleven hours? I am laughing at the ridiculous question. Most of us can’t even remember the last time we slept for eleven hours, let alone sat down. For those with small children, just dream a little. Imagining an hour without little hands, little voices, and big messes seems heavenly. You might not know what to do with eleven. Even those that are not shepherding young children would be stumped if the hustle and bustle of our world came to a grinding stop for such a long duration.
As I write in advance of this posting on Tuesday, I have been on a plane from Rome for six hours. Only five hours and thirty-five minutes to go. Due to head winds, the flight back home to the USA is much longer than our flight over. Initially when I saw the flight time, my stomach sunk. There is a slight case of claustrophobia and motion sickness that lives within me. (Flying for a very long time in a window seat without air conditioning could be used to break me, if I ever had to be interrogated.) It was a full flight and I was just hoping that God and the Boarding Pass fairy would grant me an aisle seat on a completely full flight. Thankfully, I am typing with one foot out in the aisle!
Many in our group have determined that staying up the entire flight will minimize our jet lag when we return. Easier said then done. They feed you and then as people close the window shades to see the screens on the back of their seat, it seems curiously like nap-time. Add in the constant hum of the engine and it is a perfect recipe for nodding off!
As I walk around periodically trying to stretch my legs, it is curious to see how people are spending their time. Some are trying to sleep away the long flight. A few are consuming alcohol as a way to use their time. Most are having a movie marathon as Delta has basically brought Netflix to our headrest. Chris is making the most of his 7000 days watching 2 movies with his girl. I have decided to tackle blogs and Bible study, but my mind has become preoccupied with the thought… What is the best way to spend eleven hours and thirty-five minutes? When is it wise to be productive and when is it wise to let yourself rest. Both are needed.
We rarely slow down in our culture. Even on an airplane where most do not have the normal distractions of appointments, emails, traffic, and such, we are bombarded with options. I desperately need to clean up my laptop. There are great movies that I would never sit down to watch. They even have Ted Talks. I could get educated in these eleven hours. So I ask you, if you had eleven hours and thirty-five minutes, what would be the best way for you to spend it? More importantly, make the wise choice how you spend each hour you are given. We don’t get them back.