Southwest Airlines Is Like God

Yes, Southwest Airlines is like God. I do not worship Southwest Airlines. (I do not know anyone who works for Southwest Airlines.) Yet in flying with Southwest, I have noticed a couple things that remind me of God.

Number one: Southwest makes impossible things possible. In January a friend of mine was scheduled to work for a few days on the East Coast. However, a close friend of hers died, and she needed to stay home. Another friend wanted to send me in her place, flying out the very next day, but he checked the airfare and the cost was sky-high. I told him the cost for a Southwest ticket—half-price compared to the other fare. Thanks to Southwest, my grieving friend stayed home, and I took care of things out East.

Solving impossible problems is one of my favorite characteristics of God. When I needed a place to live, God directed me to knock on a random door in my new city; my college classmate from hundreds of miles away opened the door and helped me into the perfect apartment. When I needed a car, God gave me a car. When I needed more work, I welcomed a new visitor to the church I attended, and he hired me. When I needed cash overseas, a stranger walked up to me, handed me exactly what I needed, and disappeared into a crowd.

Second, I love shortcuts, but Southwest does not. When I flew to Minneapolis last month, I boarded in L.A. and landed in Denver. The layover dragged out so long that my rental car company in Minneapolis closed before I arrived…even though they had promised to wait for me! I want nonstop! I need to get from here—to there. No delays. No detours. Southwest doesn’t seem to care.

God does not seem to care about delays either. God’s numerous “detours” in my life are part of his perfect itinerary for me. He does not care about my need for shortcuts.

One more thing: I love a consistent plan, but Southwest does not. When I flew to Orlando in January, I changed planes in Houston. My flight to Orlando this week took me through San Antonio instead. My friend who joined me in Orlando also flew Southwest—from LAX to Orlando via Saint Louis. Why is Southwest so confused? Why can’t they make up their minds? Why don’t they do things my way? Keep it simple. One plan.

Maybe Southwest is imitating God. When I was making less than $20,000 per year and my family needed a place to live, God helped us to buy a house! Now I make a lot more money, but I rent. When I suffered from daily headaches for years, God healed me with a miracle. Today, I have a sore finger from a thorn I picked up at Lake Casitas a few weeks ago. One little thorn has been nagging me and will not stop. I would rather have a miracle, but I reckon that God can use a doctor to help me. I had a plan in mind for how our church should do something. God did something else. Guess whose idea worked better!

How has God shown up in your life?

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About Ben Unseth

Executive Director at Project Understanding (2014-2017), social service agency in Ventura, CA
This entry was posted in culture, Hypertext: words that point up, theology. Bookmark the permalink.

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