I was sitting on a plane last week waiting to push back from the gate and head to the Runway. The Flight Attendants took their position in the aisle with their demonstration Life Vest around their necks to review the safety features for all the passengers. If you fly very often, you could probably give this presentation yourself. Part of it goes like this; “ should the Oxygen Mask drop down during the flight, secure it around your nose and mouth and began to breathe normally. If you are travelling with a child, secure your Oxygen Mask first.”
I was sitting on an aisle with a dad who was traveling with his young daughter. The flight Attendant came by our row to remind this father, “ remember, secure your Oxygen Mask first.” Reminding parents of what they have just heard is also part of the standard safety procedure.
Why do parents need to be reminded a second time to follow this simple procedure in case of emergency? I believe it’s because our instincts are so strong to tend to our children first when a crisis occurs. The truth is, our kids are better off in the plane or in our homes if we are clear when things get rocky. Threats tend to cue up our instincts. This is particularly true when the threat involves our children.
In a crisis situation, our intentional actions will serve our kids better than our instinctive ones. So let me remind you, “put your Oxygen Mask on first,” take a breath. If you have been rocked or shocked or surprised by a sudden drop in cabin pressure with your daughter, take a breath. You need to be clear in your thinking, in your speaking, and in your actions. If you need to vent some anger, or some hurt, or some fear, find a trusted friend, counselor or pastor and let it blow. Then take another breath, pray a real prayer (that part should be easy) and head back into the turbulence.
We do not have to have faith in ourselves, or in any process, or even in the answers we are searching for. Our faith is in God’s faithfulness. Sometimes we can walk on water. Sometimes the wind and the waves prove to be too much. We may lose sight of Christ in the storm, but He will not lose sight of us. Whether we are walking or sinking, we are in His grip. So, take a breath, you and your daughter are in good hands.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Don Worcester