On a recent flight from Louisville to Houston, the captain announced a change in our flight plan. There was tough weather reported on the east side of Houston stretching clear across to Georgia. To avoid this inclement weather, United Airlines made the right decision to fly around it.

For passengers with a connecting flight, like me, this meant we would either have a tight window to make our next flight or rebooking to a later option would be necessary. This flight normally takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes, but on this Saturday, we were in the air a bit more than 3 hours.

Documentary Opportunity

I made a wise decision the night before my flight to download a few history documentaries from YouTube, which meant I had plenty of entertainment to keep me occupied during the longer-than-usual flight.

The first documentary I watched at the beginning of the flight covered the Kim Dynasty of North Korea, beginning with Kim il-sung in 1948, continued by Kim Jong-un, and now headed by the erratic and barbaric leadership style of Kim Jong-un.

Since my son Aaron and I visited the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea several years ago, I’ve been interested in learning more about how Korea was separated. In 1910, Japan annexed the Korean Peninsula, but after the Japanese surrendered to the Allies in 1945 in the aftermath of W.W. II, the peninsula was divided into two zones, which are the U.S.-controlled South Korea and the Soviet-controlled North Korea.

During our visit to Seoul, our tour guide mentioned that many South Koreans are hopeful that Korea will someday become one unified and harmonious country again. If you think about it, the country was arbitrarily divided in half on the 38th parallel, which means many families and friends were immediately and permanently separated.

A Cold Blast of Reality

During the documentary, a diplomat from Britain made an interesting observation about the reaction received by many of the world leaders who tried to negotiate with Kim Jong-un. Just when they thought they could take him at his word regarding the ending of his nuclear weapons program, the North Korean president would order the test-firing of another ballistic missile.

The diplomat stated, “These world leaders were quickly given a cold blast of reality.”

My Takeaway

With almost anything I read or watch, I can usually apply it to my world. Given that I will never seek the opportunity to negotiate with the North Korean dictator, I will stick with what I know.

Here are examples of how I relate to this “cold blast of reality” message:

  • Several weeks ago, an MBA student asked if we could schedule a quick phone call. Once we connected, he mentioned how unhappy he is with his employer. When he started with this IT organization, the expectations were high, but he soon noticed that his manager will often seek the advice of other team members and not him. He feels his future at this company is limited.
  • About a year ago, we lost a family member in a tragic accident. The plans we had with him ended abruptly, and now we are faced with the everlasting pain from losing a loved one.

I shared one business and one personal example of how reality can be so different from what we expected. Since there is no doubt we will face difficult times along the way, we must be prepared and resilient.

Regardless of the scenario or situation we encounter, this is yet another reminder to put our faith in God and let Him guide the way for us.