Digging In

Greetings from Spain! My friend, Joyce, was going to her home in Spain, but her husband was not able to arrive for a few weeks after her. So, she asked if I would like to tag along for part of that time. Oh…. let me think about that… It was a no brainier. My new credit card provided the right amount of miles for the trip, so I was set to go. Over the years, Bill and I have had the opportunity to visit this beautiful country and have loved it. Everything fell into place and all I had to do was buy a ticket online for a short flight from Madrid to Malaga. Check, so easy!

These European airlines are cheaper, but they get you with the baggage fee. If you don’t pay for your luggage ahead of time you can really be surprised when you check in. In the States, our family has always tried to carry our luggage on the plane. It saved some money and made traveling simpler. In Europe we experienced the reality of needing to pay and have your luggage checked. Looking ahead I was rather proud to have the foresight to bite the bullet, and pay the extra euros to check my one bag.

When we arrived in Madrid, I I found out that this was not as easy as I thought. The agent at the Iberia Airlines counter said, “That will be 30 euros for your bag.” What? I had already paid for this on my American computer. “But your ticket says that you have not paid for your bag,” she continues. We went back and forth and I was finally sent off to customer service. I was not sure about tackling this after being awake for 24 hours. The customer service agent dug her heels in even more. There was a language barrier. She had broken English and I had my English with a Spanish accent. She waved the ticket and I waved my computer print out that showed I had paid for my luggage. Volume tends to rise when you having trouble communicating, further confusing the issue. Finally, she pointed to the ticket I placed on the counter with the travel agent name that had booked the ticket. Again, WHAT? I had booked my own ticket. It finally clicked. For some reason, the first agent had given me my friend’s ticket, not mine. How it ended up in my hands is still a mystery. We were both right.

Being right, can take a lot of energy. Sometimes, it is worth trying. But “digging in” and being right can also be costly. There are moments when it is time to give it up. No matter how much you talk or how logical you think your point of view is, there is a roadblock. This is even more important I find in relationships. If we aren’t heard or don’t understand or see another’s point of view, it can become a battle overriding what is really important. It is then time to put it down. Otherwise, we can enter a dangerous circle that goes nowhere. The apostle Paul offers a different perspective.

“Make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:2-4 (NIV)

Paying an extra thirty euros is small potatoes compared to the cost in relationships. I would gladly pay extra if it could solve problems when either, others or I myself, “dig in.” Loving one another with one mind and purpose allows us to put down that which we hold on to so tightly.

I’m glad to say that I hopped on that plane with my baggage safely checked. It will be nice to have clothes to put on while I am here. More importantly I want to continue to learn to take off any heart attitudes that deal with me thinking I have the market on being right. This kind of “digging in” is too costly in my life and in those I love.


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