Imagine for a moment that you are on an airplane headed to a destination that you have looked forward to for a while. Its been an incredibly tough few days and you almost can't believe that you're just about there. You have a window seat on this flight. The sky is clear, the trip smooth, and the weather is looking pretty good. The pilot announces that the plane is now on final approach to the airport. You watch out the window for recognizable landmarks as you near the airport.
The plane gets lower and lower and sways slightly as the pilot makes his adjustments. Then, just a few hundred feet above the ground the engines whine up and the plan banks sharply to the right as it begins ascending. It makes a wide sweep to the right, eventually making it a full 360-degrees. The events of just five minutes before slowly repeat. You stop watching and think about it -- did I imagine it?
A few hundred feet to go and you can tell that the plane is near the end of the runway. Again, the engines roar and whine louder as the plane again banks to the right and ascends. This can't be really happening, can it? Wasn't is Sisyphys who was sentenced to eternity in Hades, cursed with a thirst but the water would recede each time he bent to take a drink?
Without going into details, all I can say is that the entire week was full of this kind of teasing and disappointment. We would take one step forward and then get pushed back two steps. It was only our combined efforts that allowed us to persevere. After all, even at one step forward and two back you can sometimes still reach the finish line.
And so did the plane. The third landing attempt went perfectly and was one of the smoothest touchdowns I have ever experienced. I finally made it to Orlando. I wasn't sure I would.