Flotation Device


On my flight from Tampa to Dallas the other day, I had forgotten to put my tray table up in its “upright and locked position.” The flight attendant gave me “the look.” I left my phone on as the plane was approaching Love Field. The pilot spoke over the speaker, “Turn off your electronic devices.” It felt like he was speaking just to me.

My immediate thought was, “Is my tray table really going to bring this plane down if I don’t lock it into place? And will my iPhone really throw off the million-dollar computer on this aircraft?” One day, out of sheer curiosity, I think I’ll throw caution to the wind and leave the tray table up and maybe even leave my phone on, just to see what happens.

But what the flight attendant said just before take-off was the most troubling thing I’ve heard in awhile. Pointing to the sides of the plane, she instructed, “The white lights lead to the red lights that lead to the exit doors.” Now, I’m thinking, “Why do we need exit doors at 30,000 feet?” But she wasn’t through. The flight attendant then told us our seat cushions doubled as “flotation devices.” Now I was really worried. If my plane dove into the Gulf of Mexico from 30,000 feet, at 300 mph, if I’m remembering my physics class from the 12th grade (and I took it twice), this will not be a smooth landing. It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which my seat cushion will save me.

At least the plane had a “black box.” You know what that is. It’s the thing they retrieve after the crash. It tells them how the tray table, cell phone, exit doors, and seat cushion all went in together to bring the plane down. The black box will be the sole survivor of such a crash.

So here’s my question. Why don’t they just make the entire plane out of the same material they use to make the black box? Until they do, I’m avoiding the exit signs, keeping my tray table up, disarming my cell phone, and holding onto my “flotation device.”

Wouldn’t it be easier if they just gave us all a parachute?

That’s what God did. He understood that in life, sometimes we crash. And nothing can save us when our plane starts to go down. So he provided a parachute in the person of his son, Jesus Christ. In life, there are no guarantees of a gentle take-off, a smooth flight, or a soft landing. But we know that even if our plane goes down, we don’t have to go down with it.


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