I’m a limit pusher when it comes to getting to the airport.

Let me rephrase that. I’m a limit pusher when it comes to getting to the Fargo airport. Any other airport departure and I’m more conservative with my time allocation. A little bit more conservative, anyway.

I often pack my bag in the couple hours before I’m set to depart, moving things directly from use to my luggage. I feel I’m then less prone to forget a necessity at home (less prone, but far from perfect in execution). This practice worries my Grandma. I have a feeling her bags are packed 5-7 business days before a trip.

Tuesday morning was like others, alarm clock set to an unearthly hour. Up for a quick shower, then the ritual of tossing placing my toiletries in the bag. I had extra room, so I included items for much-needed marathon training sessions while I’m away. Time check. Doing well. Continued the routine of clothe, hair, make up. Wished for George Jetson’s conveyor belt for self-readiness. More stuff in the bag. Time check. Still okay.

Bags packed and three favorite people kissed, I gathered all the garbage and brought it outside. This is usually Casey’s Tuesday morning fun time, but since he would be getting both kids up and out the door in my absence I felt it was something I could do to make his morning easier.

We had a lot of garbage in a lot of places this week. Like a really lot.

Another time check. Oh…not so good. Glad I checked in last night, and just need to check a bag and reprint the boarding pass as the counter attendant would surely frown at me for my tardiness (I’ve seen the look before as a limit pusher).

Thankfully had the good key (another story), hopped in the car, and peeled out of the driveway. After my first turn I realized I forgot my phone in the house. Not wanting to buy a new one while away (another story), I circled back to the house. Busting up the walk on my tip toes to keep my new heels puncture free (another story), I grabbed the phone and was off again.

Time check. Shouldn’t have bothered. Totally pushing it.

Thankful for no morning traffic (quit rolling your eyes, traffic in Fargo is traffic as we know it) or early patrolling cops, I headed to the airport. I kept looking at the clocks in the car and on my phone, as if willing one of them to give me better news.

I pulled into the short-term parking lot and knew there was no way I was going to be able to check my bag as I was under the 30 minute pre-flight allowance. Time for a quick consolidation. Out went the 750 ounce bottle of hairspray and non-essential liquid toiletries. I took the essential liquids and stuffed them into my tattered quart bag from previous flights. Bag ripped. I spotted my clear Mary Kay bag and hoped that TSA wouldn’t mind too much…and that they wouldn’t search my bag as I stuffed my brand new, over three ounce, facial cleanser in the center under some shirts. I threw my laptop bag on top of the medley and I was off.

Inside the kiosk spit out my boarding pass and I was on my way to security. I pointed out my obvious carry on – pump, laptop, liquids (no eyes batted at my non-standard issue quart bag), took off my heels and jacket and headed through the metal detector. I anxiously waited on the other side to see if I would pass. No. Such. Luck.

“We’re going to have to take this item for further screening, ma’am,” said Mr. TSA. I figured it was my pump, but it was my suitcase. They were on to me and my contraband.

That’s when Mrs. Jennifer Davis was called over the intercom. Super.

I asked Mr. TSA if they could tell the boarding agent that I was at security. They said I should be fine. Here’s hoping!

Mr. TSA opened my bag, white contraband-detecting swab in hand. He reached into the side pocket first and pulled out my volumizing spray. The culprit (well, one of them). I’d seriously forgotten that was still in there and told him he could take it. He patted the rest of the bag, and then relinquished it back to me. I feel a little bit bad for not confessing that the cleanser was in there, but it just seemed like a waste to lose an unopened $18 bottle of cleanser. 

I zipped and collected, then ran to the gate where I apologized and the agent thanked me for the effort.

I found my seat and exhaled for the first time in what seemed like 86 hours.

After an uneventful (and under nourishing – no cup of orange juice!?!) flight to Minneapolis, I called my husband to tell him about my close call. He laughed and then said something that stuck with me for the rest of the day.

“Even if you’re late getting there, you all arrive at the same time.”

True of hopping on a plane with a bunch of strangers, and true of a Christ-centered life.

No matter when we accept Christ into our lives, He is there for us. And though He wants to see us sooner rather than later, He’s not keeping track of how long it takes us to get there. He’s just glad to see us arrive.

What a reassuring thought and good reminder for how I want to live my life. While I may push a couple more limits with getting to the airport on time, I want to make sure I’m keeping my eyes and heart on Christ so that I can arrive when my time has come.

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