The departure time was approaching and we still hadn't been assigned a gate, so I lingered around the departure board in my usual terminal at the Charlotte airport, waiting for my flight to St. Louis to update. My family didn’t know I was coming in for the weekend and I couldn't wait to see the look in their faces when I walked in the door.
Instead of assigning us a gate, they delayed our flight by fifteen minutes. Then another fifteen. Then thirty. Three hours later, we boarded.
And, for thirty more minutes, we just sat. No one came on the speaker to update us on the further delay. We didn't see a pilot or anything resembling a crew. Finally, a flight attendant emerged and informed us that they were fixing a minor maintenance issue and we would be off in no time. Another twenty minutes passed.
People were clearly getting agitated. If I'm being honest, I was too. I was supposed to be home hours ago. The man sitting next to me started to complain loudly about the poor communication (it really was pretty bad). The woman on the other side of me was really struggling with the concept of personal space. The kid behind me started to kick my seat out of boredom. Everything in me wanted to commiserate with the man on my right, elbow the woman on my left and whack the kid behind me. The only thing that kept me from being a complete jerk was my t-shirt.
It was from my church… where I work.
When I put on that shirt, I became a representative of my church. How I behaved, how I spoke, how I reacted would communicate something about my church and the kind of people that have aligned themselves with its mission. It’s like an athlete putting on his jersey.
It says, "This is who I play for. This is my team. This is who I represent."
As I sat on that hot, noisy plane, thinking about all of this, I realized that this is actually my every day.
When I wake up in the morning, the Bible says that I am to "put on Christ." I play for Him. I am on His team. I represent Him. How I behave, how I speak, how I react communicates something about the kind of person that follows Him. The question, of course, is whether or not I'm communicating what Jesus would have me communicate.
My motive for keeping calm in a frustrating airplane situation should not have been my t-shirt. It should have been Jesus.
I have aligned myself with His mission. And so now, I represent Him. In everything.