Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

Last week I posted an update on my one word for 2016: joy.

This week, in the interest of complete transparency, I’m posting an epic fail on the same subject.

No Joy

It happened during a recent trip to Cincinnati to attend a conference, trade show, and board meeting.

I left home at 4:30 AM for my first flight. The travel arrangements included a connecting flight in Philadelphia. And that’s where it all began to go so horribly wrong.

Boarding the flight in Philadelphia occurred without incident with an expected departure of 11:05 AM.  At 10:55, the flight attendant announced the flight was cancelled and we all needed to exit the aircraft.

You can probably imagine the reactions. My first response was annoyance. My board meeting was scheduled for 3 PM that afternoon. A cancelled flight meant a missed meeting.

I reminded myself that joy is my word for 2016 and I had committed to being intentional about choosing joy. We were safe, even if we were delayed. And if this were not a safety issue, it was still an opportunity to exercise my joy muscles.

But the opportunities to practice a joyful attitude kept on coming…

After much wrangling, I obtained a reservation on another flight scheduled to leave two hours later. Two hours turned into 3 hours…then 4 hours…then 5 hours later.

Still, I reminded myself once again to be joyful. At least I had a seat on a flight the same day. Some of my fellow passengers were not as fortunate. They were delayed until the following morning.

We finally arrived at the gate in Cincinnati 14 hours after I left the house that morning. Wait—actually, that’s not quite correct. The plane taxied toward the gate, but stopped 200 feet away from the ramp. It was raining and lightning had been spotted in the area. As a safety precaution, ramp personnel could not be released until the possibility of lightning left the area.

We waited an additional 20 minutes, even though a ramp crew could be seen 3 gates over, unloading luggage from another airline’s plane.

Yet an additional opportunity to be joyful. After all, joy is not dependent on circumstances. At least, that’s what I told myself. I will choose joy despite the situation.

Sigh. It didn’t work. I did not feel joyful as we finally deplaned. Nor did I feel joyful when I checked into the hotel 16 hours after I left home that morning.

Bottom line, my commitment to be joyful resulted in an epic fail that day.

It’s apparent I’m a slow learner. I have a feeling there will be more opportunities coming for me to practice joy despite my circumstances! 😉

How are you doing with your “one word” for 2016? Leave a comment with your update!

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  1. Ellen Frogner

    Patience. Lots of opportunities – many fails. Satan conspires against me to lose. I have always thought self control was the last of the fruits of the spirit because it’s the hardest and it is closely related to patience. When I lose my patience, I lose my self control. Working on it!

  2. Laurel Bacenet

    Thank you Ava because you are such a great example & teacher….this is not an epic fail!…I love the expression,”exercising my joy muscles..”. Thank you for your honesty…it brings me joy!

  3. Judith LaRock

    Loved reading this and true to form, Ava, you have made me feel less Ziggy-like in my traveling stories. So sorry that this happened to you, but like Ellen, I empathize. Ah, but more practice under out belts. Thanks for the dose vicariously and when you find out why (I mean God’s why, before we see Him) let us know.

  4. Ava Pennington

    Thanks, Judith. Not sure I’ll ever learn the reason…unless, of course, it was to write this blog post! 🙂

  5. Barbara Dusenbery

    Oh my Ava!! I read the rest of what happened on this trip before this blog post. Yikes!! All I can at right now is that your in for a real big blessing from the Lord after all that sifting. Thanks for sharing this Ava. Lot’s of lessons in this story. ( His story?)

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