A couple of weeks ago I went on a missions trip to Jamaica with 40 students from Mizzou, Veritas, and The Crossing. I’m sure that a lot of you guys are sick of hearing about the trip, so instead of doing the normal reflection of the trip, I’m going to talk a little bit about my adventures on the way there.
I was sitting on the plane in the Atlanta airport thinking of the good times I would have in Jamaica and so excited to return for my third trip. Before I knew it I was asked to get off of the plane and told that my passport wouldn’t work because it was too beat up. Immediately I was kind of angry. Angry that the airport officials wouldn’t let me travel with a passport that I had used multiple times for international travel, and more angry that I couldn’t join my friends down in Jamaica for the trip. I wondered if I would be able to make it down there at all, which created more questions of would I get back any of the money that I spent on the trip? What would I do for the week instead of going to one of my favorite places in the world, Harmons, Jamaica? I honestly at one point even thought to myself, I am trying to sacrifice my time, money and resources to serve you God, and you can’t even get me down there?
I calmed down a little bit and over the next couple of hours worked on a plan to get down to Jamaica. The next couple of days were some of my favorite days of this year so far. What started as a horrible attitude and even anger towards God ended up as a time of hilarious experiences and good conversations. From playing football with homeless people in downtown Atlanta, to getting my passport photo taken with a mustache and a soul patch, to having great conversations and developing a friendship with a guy I barely knew before my 2 days there, being in Atlanta was a really fun and funny experience. Even on the plane on the way to Jamaica 2 days later, the lady I sat next to talked to me the entire time and we shared our testimonies with each other and talked about theology and God almost the entire way down.
I am very selfish and want things to go my way. And when I’m trying to serve God, sometimes I don’t understand why things go wrong. But, from that experience, I learned that God has a better plan than I do. As soon as I changed my attitude from being angry to trying to be where God had me, even if it meant being stuck in a city I had never been to, I had amazing experiences that prepared me for the trip and taught me about God’s providence. God did provide. He provided friends in unlikely place, a golf course, and even free meals and places to stay.