Written By Constance Opoku, Ghana
If you want a 21st-century snapshot of the tower of Babel, you should visit Belgium’s Brussels Airport. I recently had a short layover there while on my way home from a trip abroad.
At the airport, I realized something: loads of flights en route to Africa were coming through it. As I sat waiting for my flight to be called, I couldn’t help but notice lots of people around me who looked like me. That was in sharp contrast to the country I had just left, where I stood out.
A couple of hours into my wait, I saw a woman approaching me. The expression on her face said she was lost. Recognizing the patterned fabric of the clothes she was wearing, I was close to certain she was a fellow Ghanaian and would thus be on my flight. And then she opened her mouth.
Boy was I wrong! The language barrier told me that we were on very different itineraries. I made a feeble attempt to help by pointing to the TV screen showing the flight schedules, but they were in English and I don’t think that helped much. Eventually, she identified someone who was on her flight and who spoke her language, and was able to help her get in the right line. Whew!
Then it hit me: One, it takes enormous planning and organization by an airport and the various airlines that serve it to make sure that everyone ends up on the right flight. Two, we really can’t assume that just because someone has something in common with us, they are on the same trajectory we are.
I’ve felt like that sometimes with God, wondering how He could have a custom-tailored plan for my life shuffled in with His many kids. I’ve looked at someone else’s life, thought their journey similar to mine, and freaked out because I’ve been afraid that I was going to end up just like they had.
But God is not into mass production.
Brussels airport has an organized plan for every traveler to ensure they board the right plane. God has a beyond-detailed plan, tailor-made for each of His children. That blueprint is so good that we can’t wrap our minds around it (Psalm 40:5).
When I got home, our camaraderie as fellow passengers on the same plane ended the moment we passed through immigration and grabbed our bags. Some headed for a 20-minute drive home, while those who were going to other destinations the next day stayed back in the capital. I had a 45-minute flight to catch to get to my home city, then a 20-minute drive before I could finally open my door and plonk myself on my own sofa. Regardless of united we seemed to be on our journey back to Ghana, we eventually went our separate ways, taking distinct paths on our journeys in life.
If Brussels Airport can plan a few hours for me to make sure I’m on the right track, God is definitely able to plan a few decades of my life to ensure the same.
It’s easy to feel forgotten sometimes. We may wonder if in the grand scheme of things, we really count. But we can look to a God who is a gazillion times more organized and more concerned about our paths than we could ever imagine.
He’s not just watching us; He’s amending things and straightening roads just to make sure we get home.