My Test of Faith

My Test of Faith

While I was in India this past month there was great deal of fog and unusually cold weather in Delhi and Amritsar. The wintry weather caused a lot of headaches for me and the others with whom I was traveling. This may have happened to you too: You go to the airport planning to travel somewhere and then the flight is delayed most of the day and finally canceled. This happened to me several times and it actually cut my visit to Amritsar two days short.

 

As the date of my departure for home came closer, I became very wary about the flight cancellations due to weather and about missing my international flight home. The unknown sometimes causes me a lot of worry. I actually ended up canceling my original flight from Amritsar to Delhi and then I booked a new flight a day earlier, I also bought a backup train ticket online for the following morning in case my newly booked flight was canceled. (The Cleartrip.com website makes travel booking so much easier in India. I wish they had this type of service long ago for India travel!)

During the week I was in Amritsar there was constant fog and cold weather that just didn’t want to go away. The weather made everything seem very gloomy and dark to me. During all this bad weather and my own worrying I just hoped and prayed that all would go smoothly for my travels home. It’s one thing getting delayed on a domestic flight, but international travel to the USA is so long that missing a flight or having that travel extended is not very fun. It’s so tiring traveling on these long flights with little sleep and then dealing with a week or so of jet-lag when you get home.

But after all this worrying, the day of my departure finally dawned and it seemed as though God had opened the door for our travel home. After a full week of gloomy weather there was no fog at all. The sun shined showing his bright face! This was so beautiful! It immediately lifted my spirits, as I knew that the chances of my flight to Delhi getting canceled were low, and that I would be able to make the first step of my trip home.

We got a good night sleep, did some more shopping at the nearby GK1 market and Janpat road in Delhi, and then I packed up my things to  get ready for my 3am flight home. I had a good dinner and was about to take a nap when an alert popped up on my phone. (I had a data plan on my phone so was able to stay connected in India the whole time.)  The alert said my Lufthansa flight was DELAYED and would depart about 1.5 hours late.  This put a damper on my evening because I had  less than a three hour layover in Germany before my connecting flight to Los Angeles. If the flight was delayed then I might miss my connection and be stuck in Germany for God knows how long and then miss my other flights after that. Uh oh.

At this point I tried to relax my worrying mind and focus it on prayer and on letting the Guru take care of things for me. I started chanting some bani to myself over and over, letting go of the worry, and just visualizing smooth travel home. Now that the flight was delayed I had a bit more time for a nap. I set my alarm clock and dozed off a bit. I couldn’t sleep much because I kept getting back into my worry mode – wondering if my flight status would change and if I would go earlier. In America sometimes flights are delayed but then they change back. I finally gave up on sleeping and tried to do something else to pass some time. The dogs in the house kept barking every time I made any sound and they were waking up my host, so I figured I should head to the airport even though the flight was still a long time off.

I called a taxi stand and a Sikh driver promptly showed up and took me off to the New Delhi International airport. I made my way to the Lufthansa check-in counters and then waited for what seemed like ages to check-in. It felt as if everything was moving in slow motion and just taking forever. At this point I wasn’t worried because I still had about four hours till my delayed flight was supposed to depart.

After many hours of sitting around in the airport passing time, the announcement finally came for us to board the airplane. I stood in line for what seemed like a really long time as it seemed to take forever for people to get on the plane. Again I hoped there would not be fog or any other delays. I found my seat on the plane and settled in hoping we would leave soon. Everything seemed to be going really sloooooooow, like sap dripping down a tree.

We didn’t end up taking off till after 5am which only gave me about 45 minutes to make my connecting flight. I was tired after being up for almost 24 hours and my journey home had not really even started. I just kept telling myself to relax and let go and let the Guru handle it. I kept chanting mantra in my mind praying to Guru Ram Das and Guru Amardas ji for smooth travel. I was really trying my best to let go and let the Guru arrange things for me.

After about a ten hour flight, we descended into Germany and I asked someone what the local time was. We didn’t make up any time during the flight, so by the time we landed I had about 30 minutes before the scheduled departure of my connecting flight to Los Angeles. I thought to myself, it’s VERY likely I won’t get to my connecting flight in time. I kept praying, trying to stay relaxed and surrendering to the fact that the Guru would arrange all my affairs.

And then, oh boy! Instead of the plane pulling up to a gate, it parked out near the runway with a stairway drawn up to the plane door! This really seemed to be a test of my faith. Luckily people get off a plane faster then getting on, so this process didn’t take too long as we all milled out onto the tarmac and headed off the plane as fast as we could. I jumped on the bus before it filled up and left me waiting. I was still chanting mantra in my mind over and over again, praying for smooth travel.

I thought it would be a miracle at this point if I was actually able to make my connecting flight with so little time left. I didn’t know how I would make it, but I just let go of my worry with the thought that God rotates the earth and He can take care of my little travel plans. In my mind I was still chanting: "Ardaas Bhaeee, Amar Daas Guru, Amar Daas Guru, Ardaas Bhayee, Ramdas Guru, Ramdas Guru, Ramdas Guru, Sachee Sahee."

The bus drove off towards the airport terminal and from outside I looked for my gate number trying to see if my gate was nearby. There it was! But we didn’t stop! The bus kept on driving past it and then went on into a totally different terminal! It seemed as though each step was testing me more and more. Eventually we stopped at the other terminal and I rushed out as fast as I could, running along with my bag rolling behind me, looking as I ran for a Lufthansa person to let them know "I’m coming! Hold the plane!" My intuition was saying, "Don’t stop! Just get to the gate."

I kept moving, looking for a way back to the other terminal, then I realized that I would have to take a train to get there! Nooo!! I made my way up to the train and stood there waiting hoping it would come soon, and that the place where I was standing is where the train would actually show up. On my way to India I saw the trains which only had two compartments and didn’t hold many people, and I was thinking of that. The train came after a few minutes. It was right in front of me. I jumped on. Whew!

We slowly made our way to the "A" terminal and when the doors opened I rushed out, making my way as best I could, downstairs to the terminal. Then I saw that yet another block had been put in my way thwarting my efforts to make it to my gate. Even though we had already gone through security, we had to go through security yet again! So there I was, standing in line, having to take out my laptop and waiting to go through the security checkpoint process all over again!

Puleeeeeese! No more delays! I have a flight to catch!

Then I saw something that seemed like a miracle to me. I looked past the security check area and saw my gate RIGHT THERE in front of me! Not only that, but to my utter surprise and relief, my plane had NOT left yet In fact they were JUST starting to board the airplane and most everyone was standing in a crowd waiting to go in. I couldn’t believe it!  I got through security and relaxed, sat down waiting to board the plane, still praying and thanking God for taking care of this for me.

The rest of the trip went more smoothly than I have ever experienced on an international flight.

I landed in Los Angeles and made my way quickly towards immigration knowing that I had plenty of time to catch my next flight to Albuquerque (two and a half hours!) I kept chanting and praying to myself that I would just breeze through immigration and customs. Most of the time I get hassled by someone, and with the recent increased security, and my turban, I was sure I would get singled out as an "unusual looking person of interest." I kept chanting to Guru Ram Das and Guru Amardas to let me pass through smoothly. The immigration person looked at me and asked me a few questions, my passport was scanned and off I went! My luggage came quickly on the conveyor belt and I headed to customs hoping once again that they wouldn’t stop me. So many times they have pulled me aside and opened up all my bags. The customs guy just took my form and said "Welcome to the United States" and off I went! 

As you might have guessed by now, I made my next flight without a problem. It left right on time, I arrived in Albuquerque early, got a taxi to pick up my car and drove the hour and a half to my home in Espanola.  Everything went really smoothly in spite of how tired I was. 

I arrived home exhausted from over 40 hours of travel and trying to remember to trust in God and Guru to arrange my affairs.

I realized that way too often I spend my energy worrying about things over which I have no control, rather then just relaxing and letting my Guru arrange everything for me. My journey home was a clear lesson tor me to relax, stop worrying, focus on prayer and let the Guru guide and arrange everything for me.

Here are some older videos related to this topic that have been very helpful to me.  The next time you are worrying or feeling stressed about something, I hope you stop, remember these words to live by, and then relax and consciously allow God and Guru to arrange your affairs. Wahe Guru!

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"Patience pays. Wait. Let the hand of God work for you. One who has created you let Him create all the environments, circumstances, and facilities & faculties.

Tu kaahay dolay praaniaa tudh rakhaygaa sirjanhaar | jin paidayas tu kiyaa soee kardaa saar

Oh individual, why you are in a very doubtful state? One who has made you will take care of you. One who has created this universe, all the planets, planetary faculties and facilities on Earth, He is the One who has created you. Wait, have patience, lean on him, and all best things will come to you.

Dwell in God. Dwell in God. Dwell in God. Befriend your soul. Dwell in God and befriend your soul. Dwell in God and befriend your soul. All the faculties and facilities of the Creation, which are in your best interest, shall be at your feet. You need million things; million things will reach you, if you are stable, established, firm, patient. Remember, Creator watches over you and Creation is ready to serve you, if you just…be you.

So please take away the ghost of your life and stop chasing around. Consolidate. Concentrate. Be you. And may all the peace & peaceful environments, prosperity approach you forever. Sat Nam"