What Matters Most

Last Wednesday, I flew from California to North Carolina (via Houston) for a She Speaks Conference. I was in the air about six hours. My travel day from the time I left home and arrived to the hotel took twenty-seven hours.

Waiting in an airport terminal was not my first choice however, if you read my last blog, you know I wanted the Lord to teach me no matter the cost.

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Rather than focus on my circumstances and become disgruntled, I chose to surrender my desire to have what I want NOW!

Instead of trying to be patient, I chose to abide in the Lord and experience patience which is the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

I cringe to say those words—I don’t want to sound self-righteous. But after years of striving to be a good Christian, I discovered the easier path is abiding in the Lord.

Abiding is how we become more like Christ….loving, compassionate, merciful, patient…which is God’s predestined will for those He has called.

The Holy Spirit does the work, but my poor attitude often slows the progress.

Only this time, I didn’t choose a one-woman pity party. Instead, I prayed for an eternal perspective while I traveled, and I asked to see people through God’s eyes.

He enlarged my vision.

I found myself drawn particularly to the people who served me at the airport and the hotel. Whether they were a maid, a busboy, a cashier, a waitress…..they each wore a name tag so I was able to call them by name. We’d smile, and exchange pleasantries.

Friendliness is contagious.

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Although my goal was to attend a conference to hone my writing and speaking skills, God taught me to do what matters most. Love one another.

My return flight home went without a glitch. Or so I thought. My traveling companion was on a different airline. Her flight was delayed by four hours.

My skin grew warm when I read my friend’s text. The thought of waiting in the airport terminal till three o’clock drained my last ounce of reserve. I’d been awake since 3:30 a.m. East Coast time, and had gone nonstop four days.

Was I going to wallow in self-pity or abide in Christ?

I sat down at a restaurant in the airport terminal—which began to feel like home—and asked the waitress,

“What’s your name? How long have you worked here?”

As I listened to Lynn’s story unfold, waiting on a flight seemed minuscule.

I’m thankful for the myriad of men and women I met last week, and the opportunity to show small acts of kindness.

God is so patient with me. And He can use everything—even waiting in an airport terminal—to teach me what matters most.

Author: Karen Foster

I'd like to say I've changed, but after decades of living, I still have the same four passions. My relationship with Jesus, spending time with family, attending live theater, and writing devotions & first-person stories about a loving, faithful God who reveals Himself in our every day circumstances.

8 thoughts on “What Matters Most”

  1. I think you’ve received some great responses. Just to say: we were in a restaurant last week. The server was slow in refilling our iced tea glasses. I remembered what you wrote and responded in kind to the lady. Turns out it was her day off and she was filling in. She only had half an hour to go and was anxious to get home. Her body was aching. How sweet and nice she was when we talked to her! We never know the ‘real story’ until we reach out
    . I learn from my daughter every day!


    1. Awww, I’m glad you took the time to talk to the waitress. I’ve learned from watching you too! As you say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.


  2. Great post, Karen. I love, “The Holy Spirit does the work, but my poor attitude often slows the progress.” I think so often, we think it’s about us pushing through to a change…not so…it’s, once again, all about God.


    1. Reading a great book, Seeking the Face of God by Gary Thomas. He mentions how we try to achieve instead of receive. Goes back to that performance driven need that even Christians have to make things happen. Even our virtues….when it’s all about us getting out of the way so the Holy Spirit can work within us.


  3. It always comes down to loving people–everytime, because people matter most to God. Thanks for sharing. Now sleep! And I’ll see you next week when you wake up! 😉


    1. Thank you Bethany. Isn’t it the truth? Too easy to get caught up in our mission or to-do list.
      As for your advice, my husband woulds say, “Sleep is overrated.” HA There’s too much to do! ha


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