Brad is attending a conference this week out in PA, so he flew home on Friday. He told me that on the way out to PA, the security people confiscated the 4 oz pre-packaged jello cup he had brought along as a snack, since it was above the 3 oz limit. Could he just eat it? Not without stepping outside of security and re-entering the line. He cut his losses. Ironically, his razor was left untouched in his carry-on.
This is not a rant about the TSA. These folks are just doing their job, and we have learned that there are bigger concerns in life than gelatin. I bring it up because I know you have a similar story about the airport security people. They are the people we love to hate… how they bark impatiently at us to have our boarding passes out, how they look dispassionately at the businessmen struggling to replace their shoes and belts while retaining some dignity. I think what irritates us the most about the TSA is the gaping disconnect we perceive between quart sized ziplock bags and keeping people from blowing up our planes. We are afraid that they are so busy making sure our toiletries are in order that they will totally miss the bad guys slipping in from behind.
Yet don’t we do this in our own lives? The TSA’s big picture is to keep terrorists off airplanes. What’s ours? Being as it concerns the way we will spend all of eternity, I would like to suggest our big picture should be getting to heaven. Yet how often do we call that to mind? We get so upset about things that ultimately do not contribute to our salvation: weather, traffic, our diminishing 401K, what people think of us, getting stuff done. And we neglect things that will prepare us to meet our maker: prayer, sacraments, learning about our faith, growth in charity. This is not to say that our day to day concerns can’t sanctify us. After all, Jesus spent 30 of His 33 years at an ordinary job. For those of us not called to the cloister, our holiness will come through dishes and diapers and commuting and email. But if we do not keep our eyes on eternity we will get consumed by the cares of the world. And when we do that we are just as ridiculous as the folks waving us through the metal detector.