I was drifting off into “Lala land” when the obnoxious intercom startled me to life. Our trusty pilot announced we were diverting to Dallas rather than our Denver destination. “What?” is my mind’s immediate response. He continued to explain a need for more fuel due to flying around a storm.

The Global flying passenger next me to rolled her eyes and expressed out loud the very sentiments going through my head. She had never had this happen before – and neither had I. Thirty-five solid years of flight and a first for both of us. What to do when the moment doesn’t make sense? How to react when the situation throws a curve? A bit disgruntled on the inside, I chose to sit quietly, assume the best about the pilot and smile at the flight attendant who offers water. An hour later we leave Dallas headed to Denver. My connection would be missed, like half the plane, and my day took on a whole new face, one other than I’d imagined.

Surprises on our school campuses are a daily occurrence bringing opportunity for response.

What, a new administrator? The last one just got here and I really liked her!

What, a new schedule? I really liked the hybrid block schedule we have used the past few years!

What, the boundaries changed again? We will now have more kids riding city buses arriving 10 minutes late most days!

What do we do?

We step back, breathe deep, take a 30,000 foot view and offer our best response. We plan the best we can, anticipate as much as we can, and we do the next right thing.  As Dewitt Jones said a few years back:  “I want to be the best for the world rather than be the best in the world.”

I am sitting on the delayed flight with the same people who flew with me to Dallas when we thought we were going to Denver.  Yep, it is still us.  And in a bit we will arrive in Denver and will go onto whatever the day has planned for us (most scrambling to find a new flight since connecting flights have already left) and what we each walk away with is our choice of how to respond to what life has given us.

When I sit my butt in the airplane seat, I cannot control the flight but I do get to control how I respond to it!  Today I choose love.