Monday, March 28, 2011 at 8:57AM
Think about the last time you were on an airplane. Passengers are nervously thumbing through their magazines, chatting with their neighbor in the seat next to them, or trying to fall asleep before the take-off. Just as the plane is about to take off, the flight attendants begin their required announcements. We can learn a lot from the simple script they follow. It always goes something like this:
“If we could have your attention for a moment as the flight attendants demonstrate the safety features of this aircraft.
When the seat belt sign illuminates, you must fasten your seat belt. Insert the metal fitting into the buckle, and tighten by pulling on the loose end of the strap. To release your seat belt, lift the upper portion of the buckle. Keep your seat belt fastened throughout the flight, as we may experience turbulence.
There are several emergency exits on this aircraft - 2 forward exits, 2 rear exits, and 2 exits over each wing. Please take a few moments now to locate your nearest exit. In some cases, your nearest exit may be behind you. If we need to evacuate the aircraft, floor-level lighting will guide you towards the exit.
Oxygen and the air pressure are always being monitored. In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically drop from a compartment above your seat. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.
You will find this and all the other safety information in the card located in the seat pocket in front of you. We strongly suggest you read it before take-off. We wish you all an enjoyable flight."
So how does this apply to our lives?
First, We need to pay attention – we are all so busy that sometimes we don’t stop to see the things right in front of us. We sometimes need to just stop and focus on that thing that needs our concentration.
Proverbs 16:20 says “He who gives attention to the word will find good,
And blessed is he who trusts in the LORD.”
Second, fasten your seat belt – life can take you for a spin and what may feel like a roller coaster can make the strongest person weak. However, if we anchor ourselves to a strong seat belt, we can endure a wild ride.
1 Corinthians 15:1-2 says, “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.”
Third, look for your emergency exit – We often get so busy and forget to take a break – an emergency exit – from our hectic schedule. We need to do this and remember how important it is. We need to take a break so that we can get clarity and focus on with what we have to accomplish. And remember, sometimes the emergency exit is behind you – look around and find it because it may not be right in front of you.
When creating the world, The Lord labored for six days, but He took a rest on the seventh. We need to remember to follow his example.
Fourth, if you can’t breathe, put on your oxygen mask, but more importantly – put on your mask FIRST, before you can help others. We often put ourselves last in line, but this simple truth is invaluable – you can’t help anyone if you are gasping for air. Take care of yourself, so you can take care of others.
I Timothy 3:5 similarly reminds us, “If a person does not know how to manage his own affairs, how can they take care of the church?”
Also, the bible instructs us to help others. The gospel message is so simple: “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)”
Lastly, all of the instructions are in the card in front of you. The Bible holds the answers we seek in life, and we need to take it out daily to make sure we know what to do in an emergency or when we need encouragement, guidance or love. It’s all there and it tells us what we need to do: Pay Attention, Fasten your seat belt, know where your exits are, put on your mask first and then help others.
Simple life lessons, courtesy of Jesus Christ our Lord….and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Leanne D. Gassaway (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Member, Bethel Reformed Church