Getting to Phoenix was easy. I printed my boarding pass from home. Got through security. Made a connection in Seattle. And landed.
However, there was one snag coming into Sky Harbor. The airport in Phoenix is currently limited to one runway due to construction. Because of their diminished capacity, we had to wait in a holding pattern until we got clearance to land. In case you don't know, a holding pattern is a fancy way of saying you're flying in circles for an indefinite period of time.
The return was not so easy. First dilemma: printing the boarding passes. I couldn't print anything from my hotel as I didn't have a computer. I could use my brother's computer, but his hotel's printing system would only let you print documents and would not allow me to print from a webpage. So, instead of printing my boarding pass the day before departure, I decided I'd just get it at the airport.
The second setback: that one measly runway. All flights in and out of Sky Harbor were delayed. The kind lady at the Alaska Airlines ticket counter explained that my PHX to SEA flight was delayed to the point that I would miss my connection to GEG. My scheduled flight into GEG was the last flight into Spokane. If I couldn't make that flight, I wouldn't be able to get home. The ticket agent called a supervisor, trying to find alternate flights through Portland but PDX was also having runway issues and delayed flights. Then the next option was for Alaska to pay for me to stay in a Seattle hotel room and catch a morning flight home.
I explained to the nice lady that I was supposed to be at work at 6am the next morning and I couldn't afford to stay overnight in Seattle.
With a little patience, I got the hookup. The supervisor decided they'd rather pay for me to fly on a different airline than pay for me to stay in a hotel. Thank you Alaska Airlines... you saved the day.
The good news, I would have a direct flight from PHX to GEG. The bad news, it was 5:30 and the new flight wasn't scheduled to start boarding until 9pm.
So, dinner to eat and time to waste. I kinda felt like Tom Hanks in The Terminal. Just stuck.
The TV was on at the gate. Unfortunately, it was the GOP Debate on CNN. I could think of no better way to spend the next couple of hours than to live blog the arguing between the candidates. (more on that another time)
When it was over, some thoughts were running through my head. I posted them on Twitter - to the extent that the 140 character limit would allow. But I figured I'd gather them here in complete formation.
I mostly know how I'm going to vote in November. Granted, that decision isn't set in stone and there's still time to change my mind. As I attempted to formulate a witty post-debate tweet, I began to ponder the irrelevance of my vote. Not from the cynical "my vote won't count so why bother" perspective, but from another place entirely.
And it's true. My vote won't matter - at least in Idaho. I could mark my vote down for a D or an R or any other letter and Idaho's four electoral college votes will go to the Republican candidate. However, I still believe that voting matters for the sake of civic duty even if your vote won't count.
My thoughts centered on irrelevance of the vote from a religious stand point.
As Christians, we should believe that God is in control of where our lives go. We should believe that He is on our side and no one can stand against us. We must believe that He will provide for our needs and grant our desires.
Yet it seems that many Christians don't live as if those words were true. It seems that the American dream is of greater importance than God's will. I've heard many believers say that Obama is ruining this nation. I've heard other Christians say that Bush drove our country into the ground and we can't survive another president like him. I tire of hearing Christians who worry about the fate of our nation if the wrong person is elected.
I began thinking that my vote is irrelevant because I don't really care who becomes our next president. I am committed to living out what I believe God has promised and if God is really in control, it shouldn't matter who becomes our next president.
Either you trust that God will take care of your needs or you don't. Either God is in control or you are. There is no middle ground. When you say that your choice in president is the correct choice because the other candidate will destroy America, you are no longer trusting God - you're trusting a political figure. You're trying to control your destiny.
If you say, "God will take care of me but only if so-and-so is president," then your faith is weak and you don't really trust God at all.
I believe that God is on my side. I believe that he will care for my every need. The person that is holding the office of the president does not dictate the scope, the duration, or the depth of God's extravagant love. If Barack Obama is re-elected, God will still love me and all of my needs will be met. If the eventual GOP candidate is elected instead, God will still love me and all of my needs will be met.
The promise that God will love you and care for you should be enough for any Christian - no matter who wins the votes.
Do go out and vote, and vote in the way that you believe God would want you to. But if the other guy wins, do not be afraid. God is still in control.