Friday, March 30, 2012

Faith. Hope. Love: Chapter Eleven

Section Two: Australia
Chapter Eleven

The six hour flight from Singapore to Darwin, Australia left plenty of time to sit and reflect on life, love, theology, and anything else. The flight attendant (a male in this case) checked the manifest and wished me and my travel companions a pleasant flight (or was he flirting) before lowering the lights so passengers could sleep if they so desired. But who could snooze at a time like this? I was headed to the land of crocks and mozzies (well, that was Darwin anyway)…then on to the Great Barrier Reef! Sunshine, beaches, and relaxation…here I come!

My father was a missionary while I was growing up and told me of a mission trip in the Bahamas where his “breakfast of champions” was lobster and a soft drink. My mind swirled with thoughts of seafood, kangaroos, koalas, laughing kookaburras, crystal clear water, the reef, umbrella drinks, and the sand between my toes. No schedules to keep. No long work hours. No bus ride to and from the job site everyday…(though I was really going to miss my buddy with whom I sat daily. He once told me he was my biggest fan and I adored him!)

Thoughts wandered to God. Who or what is He? (I feel this is a legitimate question for each person to answer.) Is God relative, contingent upon an individual’s understanding…like (another hot topic which is also highly controversial) abortion? When does life begin? Is it at conception or at birth? Is a baby in utero a human being or just a bunch of cells? Is God a trinity made up of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit? Or, is God the universe? (He is everywhere, all knowing, and all powerful.) Did God create man or the other way around? Is the bible truly the Word of God or stories passed down from one generation to the next? I know there are some skeptics just as there are opposing sides of the abortion argument…mainly prolife and prochoice, of course. Faith, I suppose, consists primarily of believers and unbelievers. Personally, I am a believer (and I do not wish any disrespect or offense to others who hold different beliefs). All that I say is simply MY, personal comprehension of God, His Son, and His character. We might agree on the matter…or disagree. Regardless, we can (and should) be loving and kind to one another.

My eyelids become heavy and I must have dozed off because next thing I know the lights are back on and the aircraft is descending. Here comes the steward again…and he’s smiling at us. Okay, I really think he is interested in one of us. (Oh, and did I tell you about the time an airline associate gave me his phone number? He had written it on a piece of paper and quickly passed it to me before the doors were closed for takeoff. No joke, he hurried down the ramp, came onto the 747 just to hand me the note, and then swiftly exited with only moments to spare. It was totally bazaar, ballsy, maybe even an act you would see in a movie but something I doubt I will ever forget.)

The airport in Darwin is small but was just a stopping point, for me. It is a brisk hop to Cairns. I look out the window and think to myself, “Yep, crocks and mozzies.” The land strikes me as tall grass and swamp land. I cannot help but wonder if one can see the red reflective eyes of crocodiles from this place at night. But, I do not want to hang around and find out.

Our hotel in Cairns was exquisite…far nicer than I anticipated! The luxurious lobby hosted a charming concierge and representatives selling day tours. We headed straight for the restaurant to grab a bite to eat before checking out our rooms and having a look around the area. The whole dining room was yellow---the walls, the table cloths, everything---and deserted. We were the only ones there. Where was everyone? Was it not lunchtime? One of my cohorts and I decided to order the kangaroo.

“How would you like that prepared?” asked the server. “The longer it is cooked the ‘stringier’ it becomes. I would not recommend it well done.”

“Then I’ll have it medium well,” I answered.

When our meals arrived they looked harmless enough. It resembled beef but I wondered if it was going to taste like chicken. I was told that is what alligator is like…greasy chicken. Each of us put a piece on the tip of our fork and leaned in as if we were going to feed each other but instead wrapped our arms around an extra twist to feed ourselves. Not bad. The taste and texture was similar to that of cow.

My friend and her boyfriend shared a room while I had a big, stunning room with a king sized bed all to myself. We were up on the seventh floor and the view from my balcony was breathtaking.

Faith Hope Love: Chapter Eleven
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