LEGENDARY finish: Home from Houston

Wow, I am tired.  Up at 4:15 this morning to get to the airport and non stop flying (basically).  But let’s review yesterday a bit.  Cool God stuff.

We met up with some of the staff of Sugar Creek Baptist church (www.sugarcreek.net).  Pretty cool guys and we had a fantastic meeting.  There should be some cool partnerships built out of all this for GFM USA.  It’s not my place to say anything more.  As I was reminded many times, I was just the token Canadian.

And a pretty cool church building too.  I’m not always one for mega-churches, but if you have young kids you would LOVE this place.  You walk into the church and you see the TWO-storey slide as part of the huge kids play area.  (There is also a Starbucks that Windham loved.  But I couldn’t really care!)

At the end of the meeting, we ended up just praying for each other and the ministries represented there.  Unexpected and fantastic.  I knew I was coming down for fun, but between Sunday’s church service and this prayer time I also got some AMAZING time with God.

Traveling along with Dave and Dan while they house hunted was pretty neat.  There are some nice places in the area, very tempting to a Canadian who no longer can live in the cold.

(seriously!  I was maybe just starting to get used to the mild cold we’ve been having up here and then I went south for a couple of days.  I’m back now and AGAIN I can’t get warm.  Is this the pivotal winter where we decide where we’re going in the future?)

Sugar Creek is located in Sugar Land, which has a massive ethnic mix of peoples.  And you can tell.  Every nation is walking around this place.  And a few short blocks from the Sugar Creek campus is this Hindu temple.  Cool place to live near to when you’re teaching people a love and a passion to reach these peoples.

After prayer walking through a couple of other high ethnic areas we finally ended up at the Maple Leaf hockey pub for Dan’s birthday.  The place that claimed to play only hockey?  It was playing Monday Night Football.  And they turned off the Flames game that we were able to get on one TV.  Me = not impressed.  There was also a serious lack of hockey jerseys for a hockey pub, but I was pleased that there were two Flames jerseys and one Canada.  So there are some positive things there!

(I’m reading this and nothing sounds that exciting.  Perhaps I’m too tired to write (likely), or maybe it is that many of the things that were so incredibly fun cannot be repeated (more likely).  But we really did have a lot of fun.)

The trip home was tiring.  Like I said I was up early.  Got to the airport and checked in with plenty of time to spare.  After a quick breakfast I sat for a couple of hours for the plane to load.  But we boarded late.  Then we sat on at the gate and on the runway for an hour.  Which is a bad thing when you are only scheduled for an hour lay over in Minneapolis.

We finally landed in Minneapolis at about the time that my flight to Calgary was to have already started boarding.  And here was my dilemma. I had to use the bathroom.  Bad.  And I was hungry.  But I couldn’t figure out how I was to deplane, find my new gate which was most likely in another wing of the airport, pee and eat while making it onto my plane on time.  Peeing and eating were the two things that were gonna be cut from the list and I was not impressed with that.

(oh wait!  I need to tell the story of why I had to pee so bad, even though it makes me look like an idiot.  What do you mean that’s not tough?  Oh ya, it isn’t!)

With my breakfast I had a big orange juice and once I got on the plane in Houston I could already tell it was going to be an issue.  So when the drink cart came around I told myself that I wasn’t going to get anything.  Good thinking Ryan.

“Would you like a drink sir?”  Come on will power, don’t fail me now.

“Yes!  A Coke please.”  Um, wait a minute Ryan.

“Would you like a glass or the whole can?”  You can still get out of this without too much damage…

“The whole can please.”  Awwwwww man!  What was that?

And yes, I drank that whole can.  It was free and it was delicious.

Once I got off the plane I went as fast as I could up the jetway and found the nearest agent.  “Can you tell me what gate the Calgary flight is at?  It probably is too late for me to catch it but I thought I’d take a chance” I said.

“Certainly sir.  It is right over there at C6.”

Cool, I was at C4 at the moment.  And he mentioned that the flight had just started to board.  Thank you God!

I started heading over to the gate and then something caught my eye; the bathroom.  Oh man, I could spare the few seconds if they just started boarding.  Right?

Right.  Except instead of a few, it was more like 60.  A new record!  (and WAY too much information!)

Totally worth it though.

Running out of the can and to the gate I slow down and notice that no one is doing the mass panic rush line up like they usually do when boarding a flight.  In fact, no one was doing anything that resembled lining up.  So I asked the lady at the gate if the flight had already boarded.

“No sir” she said, “It is actually a little delayed for maintenance.  Why don’t you go grab a bite to eat?”

“I will TOTALLY do that” I replied.  And that Dairy Queen right next to my gate?  Perfect location.  I actually was able to order my burger, eat it and walk up to the gate just as they started boarding.

Yup, I’d have to say that it makes no sense to me how God’s existence can be denied.

Close gate?  Check.

Pee?  Check.

Eat?  Check.

Board flight to Calgary?  (with another free can of Coke) Check.

Love this God?  CHEEEEEEECK

So thanks to Dan, Dave, Grant, Chino and Ross for including me in this weekend.  Good times.  Too many farts, fart jokes, bodily function comments, sarcastic comments at the GPS giving confusing directions and various other things that shall go unmentioned.  And all of them were legendary.  This trip will need to be repeated sometime.


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