Equipping For Success

Emergency Equipment

In December of 2009, my Boeing 767 flight crew departed from Atlanta, Georgia enroute to Lagos, Nigeria with an estimated flight time of approximately ten hours.

Three hours after takeoff, I along with two other flight attendants, (let’s name them Sue and Ann), was serving passengers in the Business Class Section. We each had specific duties to accomplish within the duration of the flight. As the lead Flight Attendant, I was primarily responsible for making sure passenger meals were accounted for and prepared according to instructions provided by the caterers. One of the most essential tasks, was to always ensure that the ovens were functioning properly.

The first oven I turned on sounded very strange, so I opened the door only to discover that the heating element was suspiciously glowing and seemed to intensify while alternating colors of blue, red, yellow and orange. Immediately, I closed the door and sensed the level of the heat by pressing the back of my hands against the door. After three seconds, it was evident that the situation was dire!

Flight Attendants are trained to respond to EMERGENCIES such as these, and without hesitation the three of us activated the required PROCEDURES necessary to lessen the threat of serious consequences. INSTANTLY, I closed the vents to disrupt the oxygen flow and pulled the circuit breaker which disengaged the power. Sue quickly retrieved a chemical oxygen bottle and passed it to Ann who was standing between me and the oven. Ann skillfully opened the vents and pressed the discharge lever and dispersed the extinguisher’s contents into the oven. If Sue had given Ann a water bottle I would not be sharing this incident with you!

All aircrafts are equipped with a variety of emergency equipment, and each item is implemented for a specific type of crisis in flight. It is mandated by the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), that all crew members KNOW the location and number of each piece, how to OPERATE it effectively, WHICH one to use for different types of scenarios, and WHEN to apply its use if necessary. Sue knew where the equipment was and thank goodness Ann was familiar with how it worked! The success of this challenge was because of the the TIMELY manner in which it was executed.

As we continue on life’s JOURNEY, we are sure to encounter emergencies. They are commonly known as trials and tribulations. Jesus told His disciples, “Here on earth you will have many trails and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” ( Matthew 16:33, NLT). We have to FIGHT to overcome situations and circumstances that seemingly cause us to lose hope by assuming the proper stance for the battle and being armed with the correct equipment which assures victory.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church of Ephesus, concerning our weapons of defense when encountering spiritual warfare. He used the analogy of the suit of armor of the Roman soldier.

Ephesians 6:10-17, “A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all the strategies of the enemy. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the BELT OF TRUTH and the BODY ARMOR OF GOD’S RIGHTEOUNESS. For shoes, PUT ON THE PEACE that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the SHIELD OF FAITH to stop the fiery arrows of the enemy. Put on SALVATION as your helmet and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the WORD OF GOD.” (NLT)

The EQUIPMENT to quench our battles, is outlined in this passage. When life starts a fiery trial, effectively IDENTIFY the threat and RESPOND by gathering every promise of God, as He instructs you on which piece of His armor is needed to grant undeniable success! We must KNOW the truth of God’s word and WHEN to use it to achieve optimum results. In doing so, we must rest in HIS peace and allow our Faith to keep us strong .THE HELMET OF SALVATION is the most crucial piece of armor for protection. All of the other armor would be useless if the soldier’s head and facial area were vulnerable. This is what empowers us to fight, for knowing that Jesus died to save us, protects us when we are weak.

Just to let you know how the flight ended to Nigeria, the eminent danger ended as we successfully got the situation under control. What occurred was an electrical “arc” in the oven which was a very strong power surge capable of causing a mid air disaster. We had no idea until a week later after the investigation took place. Furthermore, over 300 passengers arrived safely to their destination without being aware of what had taken place. Sue, Ann and I were awarded a CERTFICATE OF ACHIEVMENT , it read, “FOR EFFECTIVELY IDENTIFYING AND RESPONDING TO A SIGNIFICANT SITUATION AND ENSURING THE SAFTEY OF OUR PASSENGERS AND OPERATIONS, YOU ARE CREDITED WITH ‘SAVING THE DAY'”.

God will SAVE your day when you make use of all the essential promises He has given you and me to continue in faith on this journey together.

1 John 5:4, “And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith”.

Equipping For Success

Baggage

Most of us are acquainted with the guidelines for travel on board commercial jetliners. One specific rule I want to address is “BAGGAGE.”

We deem baggage as necessary pieces of equipment for travel, packed with everything to ensure comfort for the journey. Although there is much wisdom in being prepared, sometimes we just carry too much “STUFF”!

During the boarding process, there are set public announcements made by the Flight Attendant that declare ,”ladies and gentlemen, please be aware that all carry on items must be of the size and shape to fit securely underneath the seat in front of you, or in the overhead bins provided.” It continues, “if you have any carry on items that can not be placed in either location, please notify your Flight Attendants, we will be happy to check them for you.” Those announcements still resonate with me, because, the proper stowage of luggage was one of the greatest challenges of this procedure.

The reason for this is that, most passengers did not understand the safety issue involved if a crucial evacuation took place. Each traveler must have a clear pathway to escape impending danger in the event of an emergency without any restrictions, hinderances, barriers, or blockages to transition to another level of security.

You may be the person at the window seat who has properly stowed your luggage, but your fellow traveler seated on the aisle has not complied! Your expedient departure from the aircraft will be restricted by that obstruction. Ask yourself, “what would be my response?” It would be incumbent upon you/or them to remove that barrier so you can get out! If nothing is done, you are STUCK!

I previously mentioned that our travel equipment must include essential items. Let’s be honest, there is some “STUFF” we don’t really need.

Whenever I embarked on a road trip, cruise or a flight, I would typically overpack! This sometimes caused me to incur an excess baggage fee. That would result in money that I could have spent elsewhere!

When we are filled (overpacked) with an excess of worry, insecurity, doubt, fear, unforgiveness and yes, I’m going to go there, non essential people, just like the unsecured luggage, these issues will keep us from moving, more precisely, having a clear path to destiny. There is a price to pay for for being weighed down with obstructions. We lose focus, our health is affected, we lose hope and most of all the route to destiny becomes a little foggy.

We carry up-ON ourselves these burdens not realizing that we have an escape route. Obstacles are a normal part of life, but rest assured, they are necessary. On our journey remember, “the PATH to the prize is more valuable that the prize itself.”

If I may quote Henry Ford, “Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” When you encounter those frightful things, listen to the comforting words of the Apostle Paul:

I Corinthians 10:13 , “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more that you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way of escape so that you can endure.”

Equipping For Success

Refueling

I usually don’t make any kind of New Year’s resolutions going into the New Year, and 2021 won’t be any exception. However, what I do attend to is, REASSESING, RECCOMMITTING, REFOCUSING, REINVENTING, REPOSITIONING, and most of all REFUELING 365 days a year.

Pay close attention to words with the prefix, “RE”. Webster’s dictionary defines “RE” as, again:anew. Another definition is again and again, to indicate repetition.

I’ve discovered that in each month of years past, it benefits me most to give constant attention to situations and circumstances, which require additional adjustments necessary to enhance the DISTANCE to DESTINY. The equipment crucial to ensure that I can go the distance changes from day to day. Why? , because I am ever evolving and my needs, and your needs have to adapt to each encounter in life. Some of our most valuable articles are, FAITH, PRAYER, RESILENCE, UNDERSTANDING, PATIENCE, PEACE, ENDURANCE AND LOVE. These tools function best at the times when we need them most.

I’ve always been amazed at how long a jumbo jet can travel nonstop to Europe. Most long haul flights are equipped with enough fuel to fly thousands of miles without ever having to REFUEL depending on the charted course. Once it has reached its destination, refueling is vital for the return trip to the original departure city. One single aircraft can acquire many miles as it DEPARTS and ARRIVES repetitiously. Commercial aircraft can develop “aircraft fatigue” by this constant repetition and must undergo REEVALUATION for airworthiness. If any type of issue is located, it must be taken out of service for repairs. Guess what, these evaluations are not done every year, but each day! It is incumbent upon the aircraft mechanics to determine that all jets in the fleet are maintained for peak performance.

If we are pursuing DESTINY, then we must be engaged for the long haul, not at the beginning of each year but every waking moment of our existence. Let us realize that bringing God’s intentions for us to the forefront on a daily basis, will REFUEL or spirits, minds and bodies to endure ALL the challenges we have faced, will face and face today. Sometimes we can become fatigued because as in the poem by Langston Hughes ,”Mother to Son,” life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.” The theme of the poem is to never give up no matter what obstacles hinder you.

The years will come and go again and again. By constantly REVISITING our direction and seeking all of the attributes God has given us, we are equipped to continue this never ending journey. He is the Master Mechanic who knows the length of our paths and how much we can bear under pressure and fatigue. To maintain peak performance, be REMINDED that He is always present to guide you and guarantee that we operate at PEAK PERFORMANCE.

I leave you with this powerful scripture for DAILY meditation:

Isaiah 40:31 -“But those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”

Welcome Aboard

Greetings everyone!

I pray the Holiday Celebrations were filled with peace for you and your family. I particularly hope that, you have taken time to recommit to being “YOU”.

Before I continue with the usual comparisons for my blog, I would like to share a writing, author unknown, that was sent to me by a dear friend. You may or may not have heard this before, but it speaks greatly to direction and purpose. Enjoy!

Welcome to flight #2021. We are prepared to take off in to New Year! Please make sure your ATTITUDE and BLESSINGS are secured and locked in an upright position. All self destructive devices should be turned off at this time. All negativity, hurt and discouragement should be put away. Should we lose ALTITUDE, under pressure during the flight, reach up and pull down a PRAYER. Prayers will automatically be activated by FAITH. Once your faith is activated, you can assist other passengers. There will be NO BAGGAGE allowed on this flight! The CAPTAIN (GOD), has cleared us for takeoff. DESTINATION-GREATNESS!

This is indeed an excellent view of how to DEPART and ARRIVE !

Let me know how this speaks to you. I welcome your comments!