I had the privilege of flying from Boston to Baltimore yesterday for a family wedding. The flight was wonderful: 65 minutes of turbulence-free travel. It is a wonderful thing when a ton of metal gives way to the rules of aerodynamics. While I could never fully understand the logic of aircrafts, I appreciate the fact that I was travelling for 2 hours yesterday rather than 8 hours by car.
In hindsight, however, there was one aspect of the flight that concerned me. Before we actually began our ascent the flight attendants gave us their spiel about what should happen should the unlikely occur. We were told to fasten our belt, place oxygen masks on ourselves before others and “in the event of a water landing (which the average traveler would call a crash)” the seat cushions can be used as flotation devices. I thought, despite hearing it before, was important stuff – more important than phone calls of perusing Sky Magazine. The disturbing thing is that I was one of the few that lifted my head to acknowledge the live-saving information given by the crew.
Perhaps people assume the best (which I see no real evidence of, other than on the plane) or perhaps we heard it all before (which I wonder if they are really paying attention). Either way, it is information that would change everything “in the unlike event.…” It makes me think, though, about how often I don’t listen to the things that I don’t think will matter and am unprepared when it really matters.
My calling as a pastor is sometimes like that of the flight attendant. I, too, share information that will save lives and often the instruction is simply the ambient noise of an otherwise busy life. We all have places to go and don’t need to be bothered with the warnings that the uncontrollable may take control of our lives. Unlike the flight attendant, though, my message states that there is a certain likelihood that the plane will do down. We all will be unexpectedly, but surely, overcome by death and we all must heed the advice of those who will warn us of the means of survival.
The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. We all face that water landing of death and a seat cushion is not sufficient. Trust in Jesus Christ today and be prepared for that day you for which won’t be prepared.