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The Window Seat

January 26, 2012

When I was checking in for my flight today, I had to pick my seat using the touch screen monitor. I looked at the seats and there weren’t any aisle seats available. Neither were there any front row seats (my favorite) available.

I had a choice between taking the middle seat and the window seat. Without hesitation, I chose the middle seat. My rationale? Every time I needed to go to the bathroom (it was a 7-hour long flight!), I would have to cross just one person, not two.

The attendant standing next to me was slightly surprised – she had been expecting me to take the window seat.

“I have gotten over the craze of sitting at the window,” I shrugged. And I moved on.

But why didn’t I choose the window seat? I remember when I was a kid I used to LOVE sitting at the window seat. My parents would always save those for my sister and I and we used to watch, fascinated, as the plane gathered speed and took off. As the ground rapidly descended beneath us, and the huge buildings turned into lego blocks within seconds. And then later, when we were flying through clouds, I would be captivated by the amazing views, the weird cloud shapes, the hilltops, the hues of the sun.

I fear that life does this to us in many areas. What sometimes seems exciting and fascinating at first becomes drab and commonplace in minutes. Your new job, your new car, your new relationship. When having to move across one person rather than two becomes much more important than seeing breathtaking views of God’s creation.

But I know there are also things that fascinate me every time I see them. Every time I sit in a plane, for example, I can’t believe that what I’m experiencing at that moment is actually happening – that humans can actually make that humongous body of metal fly. Every time I see a baby I am captivated by his antics, his happiness and mood swings, the way he stares at you. Every time I see a good friend I feel a rush of happiness, gratitude.

So of course, we retain that capacity – to continue to be excited by the things that maybe once used to excite us. Even if they seem drab to everyone else now since they have “gotten over it”.

Perhaps next time, if the aisle seat is not available, I will choose the window seat instead.

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