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|Eternity Equals Urgency!
|Thursday, January 04, 2018|
Saw something weird on a flight to Cincinnati the other day.
We were wheeling away from the gate. The last of the last-minute fiddling with overhead storage compartments was completed as flight attendants mashed the large plastic doors shut on backpacks, winter coats and roller boards. Time for the obligatory safety demonstration.
It began with a reminder that seatbelts should be worn “low and tight across the waist.” We were comforted by the knowledge that in the unlikely event of a water landing, our seat cushions could be used as a flotation device. We were encouraged to look around and find the nearest emergency exit nearest us. I did. I always do. I count the number of seats forward and the number of seats backward and try to commit these to my fragile memory.
But I’m pretty sure I was one of the only ones who made the effort. Craning my head, I didn’t see a single passenger engaged with the fight attendant’s safety demonstration. No one even appeared to be watching. People were reading or staring out the window, or fidgeting with their phones (in airplane mode, of course ).
Right about the moment when the attendant held up the plastic yellow cup that—in the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure—”will drop down automatically,” I noticed that even the guy doing the demonstration appeared bored. Disconnected.
Process this with me for just a moment. Here was a plane full of people and few paid any attention as life and death instructions were shared (albeit in a near monotone voice). The safety card in the seatback was mentioned, but scarcely glanced at. Yet it offered essential, even critical insights for avoiding death. And nothing about the person conveying the life-and-death message suggested the least hint of urgency.
You'll forgive me for abruptly grabbing the throttle and steering this blog into two turbulent questions. First, is it possible this scene is a picture of how many of us react to God’s rescue message? Is it possible we’ve been so comfortable for so long strapped into our Sunday morning seats that we’ve lost touch with the eternal life-and-death rescue message contained in our Bibles?
Second—is the flight attendant I saw a metaphor for some of us who stand in pulpits week after week and fail to to be possessed by the horror of the hell that awaits every non-believer? Have we lost the sense of danger that even now defines the destiny of every unsaved soul?
God help us be alert. Engaged. Concerned. God help us recover the sense that eternity equals urgency.
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