In the past couple of years my job has required me to travel quite often. One of the first things that I learned about flying is that I’m simply not proportioned for long flights. There is no place to put my legs and I keep bumping my head on monitors and other appurtenances. The second thing I learned is that most all the other passengers are in a hurry and everyone, I mean everyone, hates to be delayed. A few weeks ago I was passing through Dallas/Fort Worth and discovered that my connecting flight had been canceled. Apparently a serious storm had blown through the Dallas area and lots of flights we either delayed several hours or cancelled altogether. Most remaining flights had fifty or sixty people on the standby list and the local hotels were filling up fast. As I waited in line to speak with one of the gate attendants several of my displaced fellow passengers shared their stories. One young girl was trying desperately to get a flight to the east cost. Her grandfather was ill and she wanted to visit with him one last time before he passed. While we were talking, her dad called to tell her there was now no need for her to hurry. Another couple with two kids told me how many years they had been saving for their ‘dream vacation’ and now the first flight that they all could get booked on didn’t leave for three days. When it was apparent that there was not going to be enough seats and hundreds of stranded passengers would be spending the night in the airport tempers flared. While they didn’t cause the storm or create the delays the gate attendants did their best to endure as one passenger after another vented their frustration. I noticed that the attendant at the front of my line seemed to be holding up under the pressure. As I stepped up to the counter I quoted a portion of Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” and she looked up joining in and added, “ gentleness and self control!” It was obvious. Even though she found herself in the crucible of trial she demonstrated the fruits of the Spirit.
Don’t’ confuse the ‘fruits of the Spirit’ with the ‘gifts of the Spirit’ (1Corinthians 12). We are all gifted differently. Your spiritual gifts may not be the same as mine. But we are all to bear the fruits that attest to the fact that the Spirit of the living God dwells within us. So be careful, your fruits may be showing.