Daily Reflection – Distress

I’m travelling to Prague for a holiday, and I had an overnight stopover in Zurich. I “slept” in the terminal (lay down and waited for morning) and then just after 5am, as the airport was waking up I got up to find the railway station. My plan was to take the train to the city and explore for a few hours before returning for my connecting flight.

I knew the first train was just after 5:30am. I used an interactive map in the terminal to find my route, and walked down. I followed the signs for the exit, only to find my way blocked just before baggage reclaim. There were 4 doors but none would open.

I walked back and forth a few times, and eventually found a lady opening up a kiosk. I asked her how to get out, and she directed me the way I’d been going. I told her the doors wouldn’t open but she said “Impossible, I’m here all the time”. So I thanked her and reluctantly headed back to the “exit”. Sure enough, it was still locked.

I waited a few minutes and an airport porter came by. I asked him for help and he told me to follow him. We started going back the way I’d come, and then he pointed round a corner and told me to go up the escalator. He left. The escalator took me back to my starting point.

After wandering around a bit longer I saw a lady setting up the connections desk, so I asked her for help, and explained where I’d been. She directed me back towards the locked doors. I said I’d been there. She said no, I needed to follow the signs for the baggage reclaim and exit. I said I’d done that. Then she said “No, I know what you’ve done. You’ve gone that way but you need to go there.” For “that way” she pointed to where I’d slept, and for “there” she pointed to the escalator leading to the locked doors. “Follow the signs and they’ll take you out.”

I thought I was going mad by now. I started down the escalator for the umpteenth time, but this time I recorded my journey, showing the signs I was following and the red lights on the doors.

When I returned I showed the lady my video and she said “You must be too early, they’ll open at 7.”

So I went back down and waited. At 6:55am the doors clicked, the light turned green, and I escaped.

What can I say about this story? Thank you for sticking with it?!

Halfway through the adventure I was starting to get upset. By the time I started recording the route my distress was beginning to get quite severe. I’d done everything right. I might be in a foreign country but I’d understood my original instructions, and followed them correctly. I’d then asked several people politely and clearly for help and they had given the same instructions (except for the porter who must have thought I just wanted to get out of the area I’d found him in). And everyone had told me I could get out, and yet I was coming to a locked door again and again. I was doubting my sanity, seriously, I was beginning to think there was a different reality in my head than the one I was physically moving through.

I can only guess that my helpers weren’t totally aware of the time when I approached them. Maybe they assumed that I’d just landed and therefore the baggage reclaim would be open and operating.

But I have many thoughts running through my head now. It would take me hours to fully process them and write the analysis down. I’ll try to bullet-point as many as I can.

  • I thought I was losing my grip on reality, but in fact it was just misunderstandings and poor signage.
  • I thought I was right, then other people convinced me I was wrong, but in fact I was right all along.
  • The timing of the first train and the unlocking of the exit doors has got me thinking about God’s timing not being like ours.
  • Even though I was getting very upset as time went on, I stayed calm and polite in my interactions and I had the awareness to create video evidence of my predicament. These were victories.

Ultimately, this isn’t an experience I want to repeat any time soon, but I got through it, and I’ve learned a few things. The main thing I’ve learned is that if you stay the night at Zurich airport, you mustn’t count on catching the first train out in the morning.

And try not to lose your sense of humour 🙂

Of the Wicked and the Godly

Don’t worry about the wicked or envy those who do wrong. For like grass, they soon fade away. Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper — it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land. Soon the wicked will disappear. Though you look for them, they will be gone. The lowly will possess the land and will live in peace and prosperity.

The wicked plot against the godly; they snarl at them in defiance. But the Lord just laughs, for he sees their day of judgment coming. The wicked draw their swords and string their bows to kill the poor and the oppressed, to slaughter those who do right. But their swords will stab their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.

It is better to be godly and have little than to be evil and rich. For the strength of the wicked will be shattered, but the Lord takes care of the godly. Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever. They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough. But the wicked will die.

The Lord’s enemies are like flowers in a field — they will disappear like smoke. The wicked borrow and never repay, but the godly are generous givers. Those the Lord blesses will possess the land, but those he curses will die.

The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by the hand. Once I was young, and now I am old. Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned or their children begging for bread. The godly always give generous loans to others, and their children are a blessing.

Turn from evil and do good, and you will live in the land forever. For the Lord loves justice, and he will never abandon the godly. He will keep them safe forever, but the children of the wicked will die. The godly will possess the land and will live there forever.

The godly offer good counsel; they teach right from wrong. They have made God’s law their own, so they will never slip from his path. The wicked wait in ambush for the godly, looking for an excuse to kill them. But the Lord will not let the wicked succeed or let the godly be condemned when they are put on trial.

Put your hope in the Lord. Travel steadily along his path. He will honor you by giving you the land. You will see the wicked destroyed. I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil. But when I looked again, they were gone! Though I searched for them, I could not find them!

Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace. But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future. The Lord rescues the godly; he is their fortress in times of trouble. The Lord helps them, rescuing them from the wicked. He saves them, and they find shelter in him.

King David, Psalm 37, New Living Translation