An Adventure in Disguise

Airport signAn adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered. – G.K. Chesterton

Stephen and I had traveled for 7-1/2 hours to get to Louisville. After a 2-hour drive to the Pittsburgh Airport, then flying to Cincinnati, then to Louisville, we arrive in our hotel at 3 pm, looking forward to the Together for the Gospel conference. I’m excited to be here – I’ll be hanging out with my both of my sons (my son David will be here too), seeing old friends and meeting new ones, and hearing great messages from the likes of John Piper, R.C. Sproul, C.J. Mahaney, John MacArthur and others.

The first evening, an “in house” meeting for Sovereign Grace Ministries pastors and guests is going to be exciting, for we’ll get to hear about wonderful things God is doing in the ministry, as well as how God is directing the guys who lead us for the future.

Before the session I get a call from home – something has unexpectedly come up with my family that may require me to return the next day. The next morning after the second Sovereign Grace session I call home. I need to return. My outstanding secretary gets me on a flight and at 2:20 that afternoon I’m gazing out the window of the plane as we taxi down the runway to take off for Cincinnati. I’ll get home around 9 p.m.

I’m a little disappointed to have to leave the conference, but my family needs me, and that’s more important. I’m not looking forward to a second day of flying and driving, but God gives me grace to praise him and thank him. At least I got to have a great meal last night with Stephen and my friend Bo. And I got to go to the Sovereign Grace meetings – praise God for that. It’s not so bad. I could have had to turn around as soon as I landed in Louisville the day before. And I did get to have a great pulled pork sandwich in the Louisville airport before taking off. This is just a minor inconvenience, designed by God somehow for my good.

I board the small packed plane to Pittsburgh in Cincinnati, and inch up the crowded aisle toward seat 8b and see a young man in the seat next to mine. We begin to chat, and at 30,000 feet the Lord gives me the opportunity to explain Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross to him. I’m able to share some of my testimony and tell him a little about how wonderful, delightful and powerful Jesus is.

An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.

Who knows, maybe someday I’ll see this young man in heaven. Maybe the main reason God had me fly to Louisville and then back the next day was to share the gospel with one person. It would certainly be worth it if the Lord used my minor inconvenience to save this man. If only I could always remember that every inconvenience is God’s providence.

Maybe today you’ll encounter an inconvenience. Praise God for it. It may be an adventure in disguise.

  • Tim

    Mark –

    It was great to see you and Stephen, even if only briefly, on Tuesday. What a divine appointment you had on the way home! Thanks for writing about real stuff.

    Keep on, my brother, keep on.


  • Mark Altrogge

    It was great to see you as well, Tim. Thanks for your encouragement. God is so kind.

  • Dan Sudfeld

    I had a similar experience on the way to Louisville… as the Lord allowed me to share the Gospel with a Buddhist. What an adventure! God is indeed kind.

  • Mark Altrogge

    Praise God, Dan! And I heard today that my son David had the opportunity to witness to 2 guys on the plane ride home. Jesus is pursuing people.

  • Rachael

    What a wonderful attitude! I like the quote, and that’s so neat you got to share Jesus on the plane!

    I like this blog – thank you!

  • Mark Altrogge

    Thanks for your kind words Rachael. I think that the quote came to me via Google on the same day I flew home…another “coincidence”.

  • Daphne

    Thank you for this encouraging and challenging reminder of God’s sovereignty. What a blessing to know that He is greater than my plans and disappointments, and that He’s always working!

  • Trillia

    I’m sorry Mark. I hope that your family is well. That is so selfless to take an opportunity to share the gospel with someone instead of anxiously thinking about what’s ahead or just keeping to yourself. It doesn’t surprise me. I’ll pray for you and your family.

  • Mark Altrogge

    Thanks Trillia,

    Praise God for his grace. Thanks so much for your prayers! Things are going well.

  • Mark Altrogge

    Hi Daphne,

    Thanks for your encouragement. I completely agree with you – it’s so great to know God is sovereign and greater than all!