Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

The aeroplane's wheels let-go of the runway at Heathrow, sealing the next 24 hours of my life, and I knew there was no going back.

My last minutes at home had been... odd.

Posing for photos in the back garden with Seven and Pompey, our 'new' cats.

Walking out of the front door for the last time, I suddenly stopped. "I've forgotten something," I said to my mum.

I headed back in again, up the stairs, and found what I was looking for – my pocket Good News Bible. When my mum saw what I'd returned for, she said, "That's the most important thing to take."

She also took-off the watch she was wearing, and gave it to me. This was the same watch that my father had worn. In the moments after his death, I had found my eyes constantly alighting upon it, because the second-hand was still moving along normally, unaware of the attention it was now drawing to itself.

Anyway, my mum gave me the watch, explaining that I should really take something of Father's with me.

Heathrow Airport, saying goodbye, trying to fit everything into my bags, checking-in, and revisiting the duty-free area. Ah yes, this place. Last time I'd come through here, in February, also on my way to New Zealand, I'd bumped into my old mate Matthew, who I hadn't really seen since the 1980s when we'd met taking a radio training course together. All that time without seeing each other – wow.

The weird thing is, I actually saw him again yesterday, in Twickenham. That's the sort of coincidence that, statistically, must occur occasionally in most people's lives, but all the same you can't help wondering if God's indicating something.

Finally I boarded Air New Zealand flight NZ1 to Auckland, made friends with the chair which I would be sitting-upon for the next 24 hours, and then suddenly felt my heart sink through the floor and into the hold, as I realised with horror that there were no TVs in the backs of the seats.

The next 24 hours might just be the longest day of my 3-month trip.


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