This past year, my wife and I racked up many frequent flyer miles. As is true for many of us, our focus was on getting to our destination -- not the journey. During one trip, we missed our flight back to Seattle by a matter of a few minutes. This meant that we needed to reroute our flight through Oakland International Airport -- and we needed to spend the night in the airport.
We arrived in Oakland after 11 p.m. and needed something to eat. All the food outlets were closed except for Heinold’s First and Last Chance. The menu was limited and closing time was in less than an hour. So, we eagerly ordered a couple of sodas and pizza.
It was obvious that we were tired. Tony, the only staff member at the First and Last Chance, welcomed us. Tony enjoyed his work, especially when it included conversations with interesting people (I could relate!). In our unexpected detour, we found an opportunity to meet someone who wanted to make someone else’s day better by serving a little comfort food, smiling warmly, sharing a story, and encouraging us as he left his shift with a “take care, my man!” and a handshake.
During this Christmas season, I wish you safe travels. But whether you run into any delay or not, I encourage you to take time to talk with your student about his or her travels this past quarter. Listen to the stories about the interesting people, the nourishing food, and the words of encouragement that have made the journey worthwhile and meaningful — with and without detours.
May God richly bless your Christmas and holiday season,
Jeff Jordan, Vice President for Student Life