An Extra Boost

A Journal of Joy: Things that make my heart smile…

A few years ago my husband and I accompanied our grown children on a tour of Egypt. We spent a couple of days in Cairo where we rode camels to the Pyramids, toured a papyrus factory, saw a laser light show at the Sphinx, and attended a whirling dervish evening. Then we took a riverboat cruise down the Nile making stops and seeing sights along the way. Being a creature of comfort, this air-conditioned river boat in hot, dusty Egypt was my idea of a good time.

In Luxor, our family wanted to take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise over the Valley of the Kings.  Now I am not the adventurous type. Usually I let the others go ahead on such treks while I stay back, relax with a good book, and wait for them to regale me later about what I missed. Plus, I am not a morning person so the thought of getting up 4 a.m. was daunting. But this time I surprised my family and said, “Great! Let’s do it!” After all, I thought, I’m not getting any younger. There might not be a lot more opportunities like this in my future.

We rose early. The tour staff picked us up from the riverboat and ferried us across the Nile by felucca (small boat). Then we were driven in a jeep to our take-off point. There we actually saw the balloons being inflated. There were several balloons with waist-high wicker baskets called gondolas attached. Each accommodated approximately 20 people or so along with the pilot and propane tanks which kept the balloon afloat. Our pilot’s name was Captain Bob.

After some brief instructions, we were ready to board. Now here’s where I had my problem. There was no way to get into these baskets without climbing. There were no ladders or such, just a few little indentations for a small portion of your foot as you climbed up. My husband went first so he could help me get in. The kids would follow me. Unfortunately, I have a trick knee that gives me trouble. So I couldn’t make that final swing of my leg to get into the basket. I tried several times, but just couldn’t do it.

I was back on the ground ready to try climbing one last time but had decided it wouldn’t be the end of the world if I didn’t get to go. Then I saw Captain Bob nod his head. Suddenly two large Egyptians swooped me up from behind, lifted me high, and hoisted me into the gondola. Imagine my shock. My daughter Sherisa said to my son, “When Mom turns around she is either going to be pissed or laughing her head off.” Well, I thought it was hilarious!

The balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings was spectacular. It’s been described as seeing the biggest open air museum from the sky. On one side you have the fields beyond the Nile and on the other side you have the tombs and temples. All are illuminated by the shimmering colors and glow of the morning sunrise. Getting out of the basket after the landing was a breeze because the balloon is deflated. So the basket just tips over and you walk out.

Oh how I laugh remembering my Egyptian helpers boosting me into that gondola. How many times has God given me an extra boost to get me over an obstacle in life—and here was just another example!

God is good. He sends us an extra boost every now and then—just when we need it most!


Oh Father! How I laugh when I think about certain boosts of joy You have sent me. Laughter is such an important part of my life. You made me that way. For some reason You have allowed me to see the humor in everyday life and I’m so grateful. May laughter fill the lives of those I meet. Let them realize that You created laughter and it is good!

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