My wife, Denise, and I are in the thick of a battle of sorts.
I want to win, and therefore, I need her to lose.
We are in a battle for “status.”
Let me explain…
I fly a lot. I’m in airplanes quite often. Perhaps it’s for denominational meetings, speaking engagements, vacation, or whatever. Simply put: I fly a lot.
Denise, well, not so much. But when she does fly, she tends to fly longer distances, because her family lives primarily in the Midwest, and those miles add up quickly.
For many years I have been trying to achieve status on Alaska Airlines. It’s been an obsession of sorts. I like boarding earlier, having more seating options (ie: exit rows), and admittedly/shamefully, I take a small degree of delight in watching passengers scramble for overhead bin space, while I peacefully settle in with my AirPods and a magazine.
So, you can imagine my sheer horror when I recently discovered that Denise had gotten “status” before ME. She doesn’t even care about it. I CARE about IT a great deal! But she DOES enjoy rubbing it in my face, especially when they call out her premium grouping to board early, often accompanied with confetti, standing ovations, and a Dixieland band.
Meanwhile, a part of me dies inside.
All of this came to a significant head on our most recent flight to Mecca, I mean, Disneyland. Trips to Disneyland used to be for the kids, but now it’s for my wife. It’s not really my jam, but I go for her, because she loves all things Disney so much. It’s good for her soul. So you would think Denise would recognize my selfless sacrifice and not heap on the whole “status shame” any further.
When the flight attendant came down the isle with drinks and snacks, Denise let her know (in what I thought was a very loud voice) that she is one of Alaska’s finest, most preferred customers, and that one of the benefits accordingly bestowed upon her is that of a piece of premium chocolate.
I, on the other hand, humbly and quietly, made sure that the flight attendant was aware that we were together. Married. Husband and wife. The two became ONE. I mentioned that we share everything, including our airline status, and that should warrant a piece of chocolate for yours truly.
The flight attendant pulled out her corporate cellphone, clicked on the seating chart, and extended her thanks to Denise Fehlen as a preferred member of the Alaska Airlines family.
Then she actually said this: “Denise, you are Gold. John, you are nothing.”
I kid you not.
Thankfully I had that tiny pretzel Snack Mix bag, and the deep understanding that I am a child of God.
You see, I am NOT nothing. Neither are you. It doesn’t matter what the flight attendant, or anyone else for that matter, says to you or about you.
You and I are fearfully and wonderfully made.
You and I are the apple of God’s eye.
You and I are seen, known and loved.
Our “status” is that of co-heir with Christ, seated in heavenly places.
All other status is, well, insignificant in comparison.
Any yet, I think you’ll be pleased to know (I know I was) that a few minutes later, the flight attendant came back down the isle, stopped at our row, and handed ME a premium piece of chocolate too. She said, and I quote: “Here you go, young man.”
She called me YOUNG.
Take that Denise. 🙂