This past week, I was waiting to catch a flight to San Francisco at JFK airport and I noticed a bottleneck of sorts at the gate next to mine. Everyone was standing and staring at the screen or hovering around the customer service desk. You could sense the tension in the room. Apparently the earlier flight was cancelled due to an "electronic malfunction" and people were hurriedly trying to fill up the remaining seats on a (slightly) later flight.
I overheard the grumblings from some of the passengers standing near me.
Passenger X: "Electronic malfunction?! What the @#$*% does that mean? The airine probably just wants to save money so they cancelled the other flight!"
Passenger Y: "This happens to me every time I fly! I should just drive myself! I'd get there in the same amount of time! Probably sooner! They cancel these flights for the stupidest reasons!!!
(side note: Is "stupidest" even a word?)
Needless to say, tempers were high.
What's always interesting to me in these situations (and I've been in many of them myself) is how we passengers tend to make comments as if we know better than the mechanic, the pilot, or the airline does.
Would it ever... in any instance... be profitable for them to take a risk with people's safety?
Of course not. Take out ethics and morality for a second. From a purely-business standpoint, not even a full plane flying the longest journey would ever make up for the loss of life that would occur if the airline knowingly overlooked a malfunction.
From a human standpoint, would we really want to place ourselves in the care of airline that was willing to overlook a malfunction (no matter how small) just to save a few hours? No way.
But when these things happen we often get very frustrated, disappointed, even angry because we think we (the traveller) know better than the experts who only have our good in mind.
I think we're like this with God when he delays our plans. We may have been making plans to "go" somewhere for a very long time, and yet God is the expert. He sees the whole trip, not just the timing it takes to get started. He isn't willing to gamble with our destination just so we can get started right now.
God wants our longterm good to be the destination, and when he makes us wait he is often saving us from our own impatience that leads to destruction.
Delays in our life plans can be good. The key is to stop and ask God what he's doing in the delay. Maybe he's saving you from something terrible? You may find out what it is one day. Maybe you never will. But he only has your good in mind, even though it's incredibly frustrating to wait at the gate right now.