If We Knew The Plane Was Going Down
Written By Jenna Wiley, USA
I was on a plane a few months ago flying to see my sister in Florida, US. I was gazing out the window, probably fidgeting and daydreaming about snack food, when the flight attendant began her safety presentation.
Conversations continued, people kept their headphones on, and almost no one paid attention to her, including me.
The irony struck me. While I was trying to get a sneak peek at the flight attendant’s cart—to see if snacks would be served or not—there were instructions being given on how to not die.
I have sat through at least 100 explanations of how to tighten the oxygen mask around my face, but honestly, I rarely listen. Due to my inability or unwillingness to think critically in problem-solving and my less-than-impressive attention span, my odds of survival are likely to be dismal in an emergency. I hope I’ll be sitting next to an engineer or someone from the American television drama series Lost when that happens. They have been through it all.
While the chances of a plane going down are incredibly slim, the information the attendants give us can really mean life or death. Yet, how casually we chat with the person next to us when we are told where to find our life preserver in case the plane lands in the ocean!
But what if we knew for sure that the plane was going down? How much differently would we behave during that demonstration? I would be hanging on their every word, taking notes, and preparing myself as much as I could to save my life, and also to help save the lives of those around me.
As morbid as it seems, this life we live is a plane that is eventually going down. Not one of us is getting out alive.
My heart has been breaking more than ever as I observe and read about the world around us. Yet, amid the heartache and trials and tribulations, I have hope. I have confidence. I have peace.
Truly, there is only one set of instructions that I need to listen to that matters: it’s the set of instructions that graces the pages of my Bible. The Gospel.
Because my plane is going down. Will I be ready?
I have no idea when this world will end nor when Jesus will come back again, nor when my last day on earth will be. But whether Jesus comes back in my lifetime or not, it is my job to do everything I can to point others to Him in this life.
I dove into the book of Revelation last year to study the end times. I wish I could tell you it’s all going to be okay.
But if there is one thing I took away from that confusing, often frightening book, it’s that unless you know Jesus, it’s not going to be okay. Fortunately for us, He is a patient God who wants all of us to know Him and be known by Him.
I’ve searched and I’ve looked for other ways for it to be okay. I’ve studied other religions, different interpretations of our Bible and at times, even wished that I was wrong about my faith. I wouldn’t have to ache for the people who don’t know Jesus.
I left that study with a feeling of urgency.
My life, at times, has been a really poor example when it comes to following that Biblical set of instructions. I have failed more times than I can count. I have made some decisions that I am ashamed of. I have hurt others with my words and with my actions.
Sometimes I am scared to loudly proclaim the name of Jesus because the last thing I want to be is a hypocrite or a poor representation of His name. I want to wait until I have that area of sin under control, until I don’t struggle with anxiety, or until I have every question answered and everything figured out.
But there is no time to wait. And that’s the amazing thing about grace.
In my weakness, in my imperfection, in my failings and shortcomings, I can still proclaim the name of Jesus. Because it isn’t about me.
It’s about Him. While my life can be a living sacrifice, I shouldn’t be pointing others to me. I should be pointing others to Him with my life. My messy, imperfect life. I don’t deserve it, yet it is freely given to me.
I can’t imagine being next to someone on a plane, knowing it was going to crash, and withholding the information necessary for them to survive.
So why do I sometimes cower in fear over sharing my faith? Why do I sometimes neglect to say anything, when all I was supposed to do was say something? I should be pointing others to the cross. In my words. In my actions. With my life.
The challenge to myself and to all believers is to live boldly and live loudly for Jesus. Don’t hide the life-changing knowledge you have. Wear it. Live it; not in judgment and arrogance, pushing others away in isolation, but in a way that draws others with gentleness and love.
Sometimes it is planting seeds. It doesn’t mean standing on a street corner shouting about eternal damnation. Sometimes it is laying the foundation for someone to notice something different about your life. I fully believe that one day we will all see the amazing intricacy that is God’s plan, and how all of our actions were woven together to fulfill His purpose.
I’ve got a lot of work to do. We have a lot of work to do. Times are scary. But our God is big. Let’s get started.
This article was originally published on the writer’s blog here. This version has been edited by YMI.
It tends to be all about our perspective. Great write up! Thank you for sharing.
Thank you Jenna! Great sharing, great reminder!
Thank you for a well written article. It’s all about listening and sharing the Gospel.