Here I was, sitting in the airplane, waiting to go home. The announcement went on and the young man in the front went about doing his job, with his hand signals, giving directions on what passengers should do if anything would go wrong during our flight.
The small group of passengers were mostly rude, ignoring him, and going about with their personal agenda. He was an invisible alert, an invisible visual of directions and I guess my face showed my disapproval.
An older man was in front of me. He spoke loudly, increasing in volume, and going on and on as if no one was speaking. I mean, I get it. Perhaps he flies regularly for business and knows the speech and hand directions by heart. It was, at least to me, the principle of the attitude shown to this young man.
We connected in our eyes, the young man and I, and our eyebrows lifted and we smiled. I think he read my lips when I said to my co-worker, "I can't believe how rude he is." When he was done, he walked over to me, bend down close to me and spoke into my ear. He said, "Now, you know that if something went wrong with this plane, he'd be the first one yelling for help and going crazy not knowing what to do."
I started laughing. We shared a private moment, laughing at how he would have looked and agreeing that this man, along with most of the passengers, would have gone crazy, not knowing what to do because they failed to heed the warning, to pay attention to the speaker, to ignore the visuals, and ignore the speaker.
As this happened, I realized that this is what is happening daily in our world, at least for me, in the realm of the Spiritual. The Word is going forth in all forms. There are sidewalk preachers, mime and dancers in the city sharing through music, churches out in the streets sharing the gospel, and people (however crazy they may appear) declaring the message of salvation and repentance as we ride the train home.
While they are speaking God's Word, while they are sharing the book of instructions for life, the message with directions to walk towards Joy and Light, millions continue reading their paper, talking with the person next to them, listening to their Ipods an ignoring the messenger. The Message has been ignored for hundreds of years by many. But, just as this young man told me, "If something went wrong with the airplane, he'll go crazy not knowing what to do." I took this and internalized it with God's message for today, living in what is known as the last days.
What if, What if, What if?
What if everything the Bible has alerted us to is real and we've missed the boat?
What if every message in the Bible is true and we decided we've heard it too many times, we don't need to pay attention?
What if the Bible's message and instruction is the hope we need and we walk on by?
What if, the end does come, in some way and we don't know what to do?
I think we are so busy with our gadgets, our personal gratifications, and our acceptance of knowing it all. We seem to pay attention only to what involves my immediate intimate needs and tomorrow is only important if it falls under my personal agenda.
I guess what I want to say is that we need to return to being alert, pay attention, and live without excuses. There will be no excuse when we stand before the Lord. Hey, What if? What if we do stand before the Lord, right? Then what will we say? What excuse will you and I have if everything we've heard, seen, and read turns out to be reality?
So, today my words are for meditation, deep internal thought. We're all riding on this airplane called life. Most rides will be perfect, with a few ups, downs and shakes here and there. But, during those scary moments, will you and I have paid enough attention to the stewardess to know what to do if an emergency landing takes place?
Are we ready?
I hope so.....