God Stuff

Crash Landings

crash

Ladies and gentlemen, we now request your full attention 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 fittings one into the other, and tighten by pulling on the loose end of the strap. To release your seat belt, lift the upper portion of the buckle. We suggest that you keep your seat belt fastened throughout the flight, as we may experience turbulence.

Please take a few moments now to locate your nearest exit. In some cases, your nearest exit may be behind you. Should aircraft evacuation become necessary, floor-level lighting will guide you towards the exit. Doors can be opened by moving the handle in the direction of the arrow. Each door is equipped with an inflatable slide which may also be detached and used as a life raft.

In the event of a sudden depressurization, an oxygen mask will automatically drop down from the compartment above you. 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 fully inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are travelling 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.

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If God is really my co-pilot, why did my plane crash?

Why does any plane crash?

Why are people abused?

Cheated on?

Lied to?

Why are we hurt?

If God is my co-pilot, He’s doing a really awful job of steering this plane.

Of course, the response you’ll get from many religious people would be something along the lines of, “you’ve got to take your hand off the stick and let God fly the plane.” In which event God no longer functions as co-pilot, He’s taken over the plane. You’re simply along for the ride.

And often this seems like the right thing to do, doesn’t it? Take the 1995 movie Crimson Tide. Gene Hackman plays Captain Ramsey, commander of a U.S. Navy submarine Alabama. While the ship is at sea, they receive orders to launch their nuclear missiles. However, before they can fire, a second order comes through. Unfortunately the order is incomplete as their communications system is damaged. The X.O. (the ship’s second in command played by Denzel Washington) suggests they take the time to reestablish communications and hopefully avoid a nuclear war. Captain Ramsey disagrees. Crew members take sides and a mutiny ensues. The X.O. has control of the submarine. Communications are repaired and nuclear war is averted.

Is God the cautious X.O. wisely taking over control of the submarine from our blustering command?

If so, why could he save the crew of the Alabama and not my marriage? Or my friendship? Or my sanity?

Is God always in control?

Does He allow us free will, only taking over in times of crisis?

Or does God only take control when we ask Him to?

I’m not sure God is my co-pilot at all. It’s pretty clear I’m flying my own plane. So, where is He? What exactly is He doing? When I’m surrounded by flashing lights and warning bells, deftly steering my plane right into an oncoming mountain range, perhaps He could speak up? A little help would be nice.

Maybe He is.

Maybe the flashing lights, and blaring sirens, and warning signs are all God’s way of trying get us to pull up.

Maybe God is the stewardess, reminding us to keep our seatbelts fastened because there may be turbulence ahead.

Maybe God is our best friend that pulls us aside and says, “Hey, that person you trust so blindly. Are you sure that’s a good idea?”

Maybe God is our conscience, that little voice, that gut feeling we too often ignore telling us, “something isn’t right here.”

Maybe God is our aching back, our headache or our upset stomach urging us to slow down. To pay attention. To take a break.

Maybe God is stress.

There are many reasons why airplanes crash.

Mid-air collision

Terrorism

Bad weather

Structural failure

But the most common cause is human error.

From time to time toxic people come into our lives. People who are sick. People who are out of control. People who are so unhealthy that to simply be around them is to court disaster. People who hurt themselves and everyone around them.

Pray for these people. They are hurting. Love them. They need your help.

But they have to ask for it.

Maybe God is my co-pilot? Maybe He isn’t? Maybe God is the Stewardess with safety tips (as well as complimentary snacks)? Or the flashing lights warning of danger? The feeling in our gut or the ache in our back? Or the sage advice of a friend? Or stress?

Whoever or wherever God is, it’s important to remember one thing. When confronted with the danger of an impending crash caused by human error, God wants us to help those who can’t help themselves. But in order to help them, we must remain conscious.

In the event of sudden depressurization, secure your mask first, THEN assist the person beside you.

And remember to breathe normally.

Because God is literally and figuratively the air that gives us life.*

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At this time, your portable electronic devices must be set to ‘airplane’ mode until an announcement is made upon arrival.

We remind you that this is a non-smoking flight. Tampering with, disabling, or destroying the smoke detectors located in the lavatories is prohibited by law.

You will find this and all the other safety information in the card located in the seat pocket in front of you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask one of our crew members. We wish you all an enjoyable flight.

Cabin crew, please take your seats and prepare for take-off.

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*Look it up: http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/pneuma.html

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