Hungary 1 - Amsterdam Airport
Our summer tour to Hungary and Serbia started with a long-haul flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam, and the added blessing of the purser of the plane giving us a complimentary bottle of champaign! (Teri and I were flying on our 32nd Wedding Aniversary) After spending a few hours sleeping in the KLM lounge, we had to go through security and customs in order to get to our flight to Budapest.
The gracious "Dutchie" at the security screening informed us that the bottle of Champaign would have to go - not allowed, as it was not government sealed. We didn't complain - we aren't big fans of Champaign, but had kept it to give it as a hospitality gift in Hungary somewhere!
As we were leaving the screening area, I spoke briefly with the man, saying "Hey, thank you for keeping us safe." He looked as shocked as if I had just pulled out a weapon! Then he said, "In my three years of doing this job, NO ONE has ever thanked me for this." My turn to be shocked. "Thank you", he said, "I won't forget this!" Wow.
Of course I know how inconvenient this screening stuff all is - our traveling-by-air experiences forever altered by UBL and his cohorts. And inconvenient it is. But so often I see "platinum" and "medallion" attitudes unleashed on these people whose job it is to keep us from getting harmed, and whilst some of them unfortunately display that timeless adage, "Tyranny of the Powerless", some of them are genuine in their attempts to keep us safe.
In this I was reminded once again of the Word: "Words have the power of life and death…" Proverbs 18:21, and of course the provocative discourse on the dunamis of the tongue in James 3, and how as Christians we should use it for life, for edification, and for blessing.
Hows your tongue doing today? Yesterday? Tomorrow? Need a transplant?!? Maybe just a platinum attitude adjustment. I know I do. And how I was reminded in such a powerful way how a soft answer not only turns away wrath, but an bring great blessing, and in the right moment, an opportunity for the gospel.