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Exit Row  

I won the lottery! 

Well…not really.

It only felt that way, when on a recent flight to Pennsylvania, I was seated in an exit row.  For those who don’t travel much, sitting in an exit row seat means you don’t have to hunch, lurch, twist and otherwise contort your body to fit into what the airlines claim is a seat.  The amount of legroom is almost humane.

But the gift of this non-smooshed seat comes with a catch. A flight attendant actually “interviews” you just before take-off.  You must confirm that you…

A. Will read and comply with the emergency instructions.

B. Are strong and able enough to assist others.

C. Promise to assist others getting off the plane, should a disaster strike.

I was intrigued by the language of the exit row safety card.  It said that we exit row passengers must be able to:

  • Reach upward, sideways and downward to the location of emergency exit operating mechanisms.
  • Grasp, pull, push and turn or otherwise manipulate those mechanisms.
  • Push, shove, pull, or otherwise open emergency exits.
  • Lift out, hold and deposit the hatch, weighing up to 42 pounds, out of the exit door opening. 
  • Maintain balance while removing obstructions.
  • Assess, select and follow a safe path away from the emergency exit.

Because air safety is a life-and-death issue, it got me to thinking about eternal life and death issues. What if we took spiritual rescue just as seriously?

Wouldn't we “read and comply” with God’s emergency instructions?  Wouldn’t we make sure we were spiritually strong enough to assist our lost neighbors, friends, and coworkers?  Shouldn’t the fact that we’ve been “rescued” by Christ motivate us to help others escape the flames of judgment to come?

I noticed a lot of intense verbs in the flight card instructions: pull, push, shove, hold, turn, reach, lift out. But how active am I in the spiritual rescue of others?  Do I go down on my knees for them in intercessory prayer?  Do I shoulder their burdens?  Do I hold out Christ’s words of life—or am I embarrassed to do so?

Paul wrote in Colossians 1:29, “To this end, I strenuously contend with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”

Time to get serious about spiritual rescue.  Time to learn from that flight safety card so we can help others “assess, select, and follow a safe pathway”—Jesus!

 

 

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Jon GaugerJon Gauger

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Jon Gauger Media 2016