I remember, back in the day, Aruba-days, someone was always coming or going. We made regular trips to the airport; joyful at arrivals but often teary eyed for departures, especially when family members were taking leave for "the states". Then there were times when we all left together, on vacation to "the states" for weeks on end during the summer. Or, times when a visiting guest who had probably overstayed their welcome, was finally leaving the sunny island to go home. There were many permutations and combinations on a general theme.
Never mind the luggage, although certainly suitcases were of some importance, the hope being that they'd arrive at the destination in good shape and on time. The big three essentials were: passports, tickets, and money. If you had those, and forgot everything else, you'd make it just fine. Hence, the last minute check list before leaving the house to be certain the big three items were firmly in possession. The passports, tickets, and money trilogy became a sort of mantra, a chant, perhaps a prayer for safe journeys across the seas.
Would that a passport, ticket, and money be all I need to get me through the next few days. My mind is full of details; don't forget this, do that, check up on such and so. One minute confident that all is smooth, the next disrupted by the least little bump in the road.
At times like these, when the wonder and joy of a much anticipated wedding between two young people who I love dearly unfolds, I take comfort in the writings of Fr. Robert Spitzer, a Jesuit priest whose no-nonsense advice resonates powerfully right about now. In his book, Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life, he discusses the power of prayer, even short-phrase-prayers offered up at any time and in any place as the need arises. The most powerful prayer of all? "Thy Will be Done."
Thoughtful planning, consideration, and best intentions take us a long ways down the path. Much like passports, tickets, and money, we do all we can to create the stage for success. And then, we let go and let grace carry us the rest of the way. "Thy will be done."