Please fasten your seatbelt. Make sure your seatback is in its full upright position. In the event of a water landing, your seat cushion can serve as a flotation device. In the unlikely event that the airplane cabin should depressurize, an oxygen mask will fall from the cabin ceiling. Please be sure that you put your own mask on before attempting to assist other passengers with their mask.”
Everyday flight attendants all over the world are repeating this message to those who are flying the “friendly skies” heading to many different destinations for many different reasons. They are careful to make sure that, in the monotonous pre-flight instruction drill, they do not forget or leave out any important life saving instructions for the on-board passengers. There are even those creative and industrious flight attendants who devise alternative, and sometimes, entertaining methods of giving these instructions in an all out effort to insure that all passengers hear the instructions and are able to perform them if such an emergency did occur. However, those passengers who regularly accumulate hefty amounts of frequent flyer miles, have a tendency to tune out the flight attendants, feeling that they have heard the same message hundreds of times and the message doesn’t apply to them anyway, since what they are being warned of is not going to happen.
I believe the same thing is happening in our churches today. Every week, Pastors in churches all over this world are repeating the “pre-flight” instructions to those who are suppose to be Christians headed to different destinations in life. Those same Pastors are very careful to make sure that they don’t forget or leave out any important “life saving” instructions for those who are eternally “heaven bound”. And yes, some of those Pastors who are creative and industrious are designing alternative and entertaining methods of presenting the Biblical pre-flight instructions in an attempt to insure that all parishioners hear, understand and apply these instructions to their life. But, just like the frequent flyers, those Christians who are accumulating hefty amounts of frequent pew-packing miles have a tendency to tune out the Pastor’s message feeling that they have heard the “same message” before and it doesn’t apply to them anyway, since it is their neighbor who needs to make changes in their life--not them!
Maybe it’s time for a wake up call to all Christians everywhere. Maybe we have diluted the power of our influence because we refuse to “put on our own oxygen mask first before attempting to assist other passengers with their oxygen mask.” Maybe we should listen more closely to the Pastor’s pre-flight drill, apply it to our own life first so that we can truly be an example, and then share the same life-giving message that we have received with others who are traveling with us. Perhaps that is what Jesus meant when He said, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
Isn’t it time that we got serious about our destination as well as the destination of others? How about you? Are you drowning out the truth of God’s Word in your life with all of the noise of the world? Or, are you applying His truth to your life so that you can become a “lighted path” to illuminate the way for “all creation” to find Jesus and make heaven their ultimate destination? Come on. Let’s fasten our seatbelt, put our seatbacks in the upright position and prepare to do more than just hang on for the ride! Let’s together make a difference in our community for the cause of Jesus Christ. Let’s help others make their pre-flight preparations today! Share your life with others!