Have Love…Have Understanding

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. ~1Corinthians 13:1

Recently, I chose to accept the unexpected. On the shuttle to the airport, I got the text saying my flight had been canceled due to weather in Chicago. I’ve traveled enough to know it is wise to keep moving forward despite delays. So I went to the ticket agent and asked about my options. He found my reservation and clicked his mouse from screen to screen. Finally, he spoke the obvious: there were too many people and too few flights.

I responded with understanding. And when he apologized for the weather, I remarked that I fully understood the weather was out of his control and that I appreciated his assistance. After being booked on the same flight the next day, I thanked him and started to collect my things. But before I left, he handed me a $50 voucher to be used on air travel within the next year. I was stunned because airlines are not obligated to reimburse due to weather delays. He said it was for being so understanding.

I thanked him again and left to call the hotel where I had been staying. They said I could have my same room and gladly sent the shuttle back to pick me up. While waiting, I thought about this first verse from 1Corinthians 13, which is often skipped over to get to the list of what love is and is not. But this verse also indicates what love is and is not. Love is a language of mutual respect and understanding, and love is not a language of dissent and misunderstanding.

Obviously, I was thrilled with the $50 voucher, but there was a larger take away for me. In choosing to accept the unexpected I was choosing to not be a noisy gong and clanging symbol at the counter! I was choosing to not treat the agent poorly. I was choosing to be a “have love” person…rather than a “have not love” person.

I hope the next time I need to accept the unexpected I can again be a “have understanding” person rather than a “have not understanding” person.

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