Focus during a crisis is imperative. If you have done any flying, you know that before the airplane even takes off, flight attendants spend several minutes discussing safety protocols. That way, in the event of a real emergency, passengers will know what to do. Recently while on a flight, it occurred to me that the instructions for oxygen mask usage held a very good lesson about staying connected to God. They also show us how to handle ourselves when real-life turbulence hits.
Keep Looking Up To the Source
As you probably know, oxygen masks drop down from overhead compartments when cabin pressure drops. Keeping our eyes focused on where the oxygen comes from would be helpful in the event of a crisis. As children of God, we experience trouble on a fairly regular basis. Sometimes it is just little things that seem to add up to big things as Satan seeks to wear out the saints. That’s why we should keep our eyes focused on Jesus instead of the situation around us. Nothing we face is a surprise to Him. Nothing is too hard or too much. We should always keep looking up.
Start the Flow of Oxygen
Oxygen masks are attached by a tube to the air flow system in overhead compartments. You must give a tug on the cord to start the flow of oxygen. As our source for life, we must keep connected to God through constant prayer. He is the source of our strength and our peace. A strong prayer life is not just speaking to God but listening to Him by prayerfully reading the Bible. The tugging of our fervent, effectual prayers will avail much.
Put on Your Own Mask First
If oxygen masks come down, that means that cabin pressure is off. People can lose consciousness very quickly without the proper amount of air. If you are traveling with someone who needs help with a mask (like a child or the elderly), you are instructed to put on your own mask first so you don’t pass out before you can help those around you. Children of God must have the life-giving connection to God before we can try to help others. Otherwise, we’re just trying to share limited, frazzled resources, and that’s the quickest way to burn out. Think about the acronym “HALT.” If you are hungry, angry/upset, lonely, or tired, you are less likely to be able to react to situations in a godly manner. That’s why it is imperative for us to stop (or halt), take care of ourselves, and reconnect to God. He can refresh our peace. He can give us the strength to continue on and to help others.
Affix the Mask and Tighten the Tabs
For the mask to work, you have to put the mask’s cup over both your mouth and nose. If you leave your nose out of the mask, you won’t be getting enough oxygen because the nose is actually the main pathway to the lungs. We have to be “all in” for God. He must cover us completely as our only source for life-giving breath. We can’t withhold certain parts of our lives as “our own.” We have to surrender everything, or we will be leaving parts of ourselves vulnerable to attacks from the enemy.
Then Assist Other Passengers
After we have our own mask on, then we help others. This is a very important lesson that some Christians today seem to have forgotten. When we get wrapped up in our own troubles and drama, we forget that there are other people out there who need our help. By focusing our eyes on Christ and staying connected to God in prayer, we can take that peace and strength He gives and turn our focus outward instead of inward. We can look around us to find those who need our help.
The Bag May Not Inflate
The last thing the flight attendance mentions is the fact that the oxygen bag may not inflate. Even if it looks like there is no air in the bags, oxygen is still flowing through. This is the same thing with our faith. Just because we can’t physically SEE God working in our lives, doesn’t mean He isn’t there. We know by faith that He is. We have to trust that by staying connected to God through prayer, He will give us the peace that He promised us.
When travel gets bumpy and pressure is intense, it is imperative that we keep focused on and connected to our source for life. We must stay in constant contact and allow Him to refresh us so that we can help others and have faith even when we don’t see or understand what He is doing at the moment. It is in this way that we can make it safely to our heavenly destination.
If you like analogies, try It’s Not the Machine That Makes Us Clean. It compares aspects of the Christian life to a dishwasher. Or, try Three Reasons We Can’t Stop Trying to Save the Lost. It’s an analogy of the Parable of the Starfish.
Like to read more from Evangelical Christian sisters who “tell it messy, true, and wonderful because we are His”? Check out Telling Hearts.