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Equipping for Success

Travel Documents

There are several items needed to successfully board a commercial jet liner when desiring a specific destination.

Among the most essential are TRAVEL DOCUMENTS. Why? Because our identity must be established for SECURITY purposes. This assures the airport authorities of proper AUTHENTICATION. In other words documentation verifies you are legally, without a doubt , the person who has obtained a RESERVATION on that particular flight, which grants you ACCESS to your ASSIGNED seat.

The process of reserving your space on board, is the starting point in obtaining travel documents.

Pertinent information must include your name, address, date of birth and country of citizenship. Passports are required for international travel which is more in depth due to strict entry rules of the countries involved in your journey.

To further explore DOCUMENTATION, an added benefit is created known as the ITINERARY, to assist you in your travel plans.

To use this in an everyday term, it is your PLAN enroute to your destination. The itinerary includes, your name, flight number(s), departure/arrival times, flight duration, connecting cities, meal preferences, etc.

Should all of these documents SEAL your identity, you are issued a boarding pass/passport which certifies you have RIGHTFULLY substantiated WHO YOU ARE. If at any time ACCESS is denied, that indicates there has been a question concerning your identity.

In our LIFE’S JOURNEY, there are many instances when we question our IDENTITY. In several of his teachings concerning PURPOSE, Dr. Myles Munroe often challenged us to ponder the following question, “WHO AM I?” Could it be that we are sometimes victims of IDENTITY THEFT orchestrated by the enemy attempting to steal the IDENTIFYING factor of Christ in our lives?

The word of God tells us in Jeremiah 1:5, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart for my holy purpose, I appointed you to be a prophet to the nation.” (God’s Word Translation)

Imagine that, God created a RESERVATION for us even before we were formed in our mother’s womb! The only documentation HE requires is evidence that we have received His only Son, Jesus, as our Lord and Savior.

The itinerary has been carefully and skillfully planned by Him and our identity SEALED (verified as God’s child). The latter part of Ephesians 1:13 declares , “When you believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promise of the Holy Spirit.”

Through the shed blood of Jesus, we have ACCESS to our Father, God and we can discover who HE says we are in HIM. This allows us to have the confidence we need to pursue PURPOSE. Understand that your times are in His hands, ( Psalm 31:15).

You and I have been made righteous (in right standing with God), because of the redemptive work of Christ, to reconcile (restore) us unto himself. Even though sometimes the journey causes us to doubt our IDENTITY, it is imperative that we TRUST THE PROCESS.

Embrace these words from the Apostle Paul, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Jesus Christ returns”.

If you are unable to prove your identity to the airlines, you can rest assured that God knows who you are and all that you are meant to be.

Bracing Position

Life’s Adversities

Even though I’ve been silent for a while, rest assured, I am still navigating through my LIFE’S JOURNEY, and staying focused to continue with you.

I’ve begun to seriously recognize that God uses my Flight Attendant training to speak to every situation I’ve encountered to deliver CLARITY and PURPOSE at my doorstep disguised as ADVERSITY.

The training that Flight Attendants receive consists of more than just “coffee, tea, and milk.” It involves a broad spectrum of RULES AND REGULATIONS, mandated by the FAA, COMMUNICATIONS SKILLS, CONFLICT RESOLUTION, EMERGENCY PROCEDURES, EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP and rendering FIRST AID, just to name a few.

These are all needed for successful flight operations and there are instances when that training is put to the TEST with the development of any of the aforementioned adverse situations.

I want to focus on BRACING POSITION and its relevance to our LIFE’S JOURNEY.

When faced with not so favorable landings, such as a main gear collapse which produces a belly landing, or a water landing, crew members must make certain that the correct bracing position is assumed to prevent the body from being tossed about on impact. This avoids any type of bodily injury to all passengers on board.

In any one of these scenarios, the CAPTAIN would have already briefed the cabin crew and passengers on what to expect and when to assume the bracing position. The Flight Attendant’s job is to instruct passengers on how to carry out these bracing positions and to secure any objects that could become projectiles upon impact. At the critical moment the CAPTAIN will give the command over the PA system, “BRACE, BRACE!” or “BRACE FOR IMPACT!”. Everything and everyone must be SECURED to minimize loss of life and serious injuries. In other words the crew members must prepare in advance to deal with the issue.

As you and I carry on with LIFE’S JOURNEY, there will always be adversities that we must contend with. God has given us RULES AND REGULATIONS and instructions to live by. It is called the Bible, or Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. By EMBRACING His holy word, we can learn to BRACE ourselves when the enemy hurls those “fiery darts,” Ephesians 6:16, into our lives that are meant to distract us from destiny.

As flight crews prepare for emergency landings, we must also BRACE ourselves by communicating with God (praying daily) , resolving conflicts with others and ourselves by studying His word, doing His commands and receiving first aid for the healing of our souls by applying His word to our lives . So to put it plainly we BRACE OURSELVES BY EMBRACING HIM. This prepares us for the challenges ahead, seen and unseen.

Jesus tell us in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken unto you that you might have peace. In the world you have have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Emergencies (trails and tribulations), are common in this life but our security comes from knowing that even though we encounter many adversities, they too have encased within themselves learning more about God, an opportunity for growth as well as a testimony of how our testing times are not in vain.

When it comes to LEADERSHIP, always know and believe that God is the Captain of Our Souls. He is SOVERIEGN RULER and in any crisis, He is always with us.

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Purpose Stimulus Part 2

Persist Determinedly

In Part 1 of “Purpose Stimulus”, we examined the concepts of TAILWINDS, HEADWINDS, and CROSSWINDS. We concluded that all of these WINDS would eventually land us in our destiny to an on time arrival, delayed arrival or canceled arrival. Our final thought was, “WE NEED THE WINDS OF LIFE TO HELP US GROW.” WIND(s) is a formative concept that when encountered, we are shaped for our DIVINE ASSIGNMENT!

Contemplate on this thought, if winds were nonexistent, there are consequences that would ensue. The earth would not rotate, aircraft could not take to the skies, rivers would cease to flow, and temperature extremes would increase all over the world. When wind is evolving (DEVELOPING) and moving (IN MOTION), things change.

During a summer vacation to Aruba, I was extremely fascinated by a tree that grew all over the island. It is called the “Divi Divi” tree. This beautiful specimen’s shape is most unusual in that it only grows in one direction due to the persistent trade winds. These constant winds force it to assume a southeast position that acts as a natural compass. The root system is so deeply GROUNDED that it allows the tree to bend without breaking and prevents it from being tossed to and fro.

As we continue on Life’s Journey, I want you to seriously think about all the WINDS blustering in your presence. No matter what the direction, they were created for a PURPOSE to point us to God’s purpose here on earth.

At times WIND(s) seem to be slowing us down, or accelerating us faster than we intend to go. We may even appear to be defeated or knocked off course! These are the moments when we must be DETERMINED TO PERSIST and allow the CREATOR to MOLD us to be more like him.

Calm WINDS (the absence of wind), can trick us. We think that because there is no movement in our lives, everything is smooth sailing. This is the occasion to take stock and strengthen our foundation. It’s an opportunity to become grounded in our faith.

The Divi Divi tree takes years to develop a strong root system. It grows strong and stays attached to its source for strength and nourishment. When the winds come, it stands and is sculpted undeniably by an unseen force of nature.

My friends, embrace the winds of life and know that WIND(s) of life will always be here now, tomorrow and forever, BUT GOD is a NEVER CHANGING, CONSTANT, and PERSISTENT force in our lives that guarantees our direction to DESTINY.

I leave you with these words of life to meditate on:

Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.

Ephesians 3:16 I pray that from His glorious unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit. v-17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.

Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not.

Purpose Stimulus

Tailwinds/Headwinds/Crosswinds

I am certain most of us have been passengers on a commercial airline flight and have heard the pilot announce, “Due to TAILWINDS we will arrive at our destination 30 minutes early”, or “Due to HEADWINDS we will arrive 30 minutes late.”

Just for clarification, I’ll take a minute to define TAILWINDS and HEADWINDS.

A TAILWIND is a wind that blows in the direction of a travel of an object, while a HEADWIND blows against the direction of travel. They both have varying degrees of intensity.

Airline pilots do not turn the aircraft around and go back to the original takeoff city because it is too difficult to navigate when these atmospheric conditions exist. They simply make the necessary adjustments in order to attain the intended destination. On the other hand, they take advantage of the substantial TAILWINDS pushing the jet at a greater speed, which guarantees an EXCEPTIONAL, GREATER THAN EXPECTED, on time arrival! We can also label it as AHEAD OF SCHEDULE!

As we pursue purpose there are many opposing forces designed to hinder us and nonresistant forces that propel us. Surprisingly, both of these influences allow perfect timing to achieve destiny. Some flights do arrive AHEAD OF SCHEDULE, but in our LIFE’S JOURNEY, the PROCESS OF TIME, delivers us to our DIVINE APPOINTMENT according to the timetable which has already been prearranged or PREDESTINED. Woven within each situation there is a stimulation to PERSIST DETERMINEDLY.

Did I forget to mention CROSSWINDS? Let’s address these as well. Crosswinds are winds that blow across ones direction of travel. These winds are very dangerous in aviation because they have the capability of disrupting landings and takeoffs altogether. Mind you I said DISRUPT! Airline pilots must have total control of the aircraft to handle this type of interception.

When we encounter these winds in life, all of our plans can come a halt! We can get knocked off course for sure, but rest assured (God) the Captain of Our Souls, takes command!

When all of these winds present themselves as doubt, discouragement, unforgiveness, fear and temptation, we must be inspired (stimulated) to persist amid the opposing forces, and focus on those things that propel us to arrive to our preordained destiny at the appointed time, regardless of the circumstances.

We need the winds to help us grow and take us on our JOURNEY!

Sojourning

Reflections Part 2

I want to pause again to share another segment of my Life’s Journey that includes the first job I received before being employed by Delta Airlines.

The desire to travel increased with each passing day of my life and any indication of the idea, was constantly with me. While browsing through a magazine one day, I came across an ad that read,”Be A Stewardess or Look Like One.” I thought, this is my opportunity! The advertisement was from Atlantic Airline School and when I observed it a little closer it really had nothing to do with flying! What was interesting though was that, I could use this as a stepping stone to where I eventually wanted to be.

Atlantic Airline School offered training in Airline Reservations, Vacation Planning, Ticketing and Fare Construction. The training consisted of a six week home study course and after that, graduates were placed in selected cities across the country for in person training. The cost for this program was $800.00.

My father was not to thrilled about giving up that amount of money for something he wasn’t to certain of, but because he usually gave into my passions, I was enrolled right after High School with the condition of, “you’d better get a job after you finish.”

The three cities listed to attend training were Inglewood, California, Kansas City Missouri and Atlanta Georgia. My first thought was, California here I come! Not so fast missy-California was booked solid, so I tried for Kansas City. No openings were available there. The last place I wanted to be was in Georgia. The racial tensions were quite high in Georgia during the 70’s and I was gripped with fear at the thought of being in that state. Nevertheless, I would go anywhere to be in a totally different environment.

My application was submitted and in the year of 1972 I was notified of my acceptance. Placement for training was in Atlanta, Georgia. The very first thing that captured my attention, was the Hyatt Regency Hotel that could be seen from I-75 traveling North. It was referred to as, “the blue glass bubble in the sky.” All of the tall buildings were so amazing because of course I’d NEVER seen anything like them in Belhaven! What’s so hilarious is that, the Hyatt Regency in downtown Atlanta is now obscured by many skyscrapers overwhelmingly many stories high.

My place of abode for an additional six weeks of training was the Georgian Terrace Hotel on Peachtree Street. An allotment of rooms were purchased by Atlantic Airline Schools as dormitories. It too has undergone some massive reconstruction since the 70’s. I think it is referred to as, “The Luxurious Georgian Terrace Hotel.”

The training course was very detailed and challenging, but because I was so eager to learn, I excelled in all areas. I graduated with honors and was hired by one of the most prestigious Travel Agencies in the country, Henderson Travel Service. This company specialized, and still does, in Travel Tours of the African continent and has received many awards for distinguished service. When I arrived on the scene, there was a dire need for an expert in Domestic Travel. Yours truly fit the bill! I was in charge of front office operations and formulated travel arrangements for professors of Atlanta University, i.e. Dr. Benjamin Mays, local politicians such as Mayor Maynard Jackson, Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. CT Vivian, Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr., Mrs. Coretta Scott King and Mrs. Christine Farris, sister to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. My interaction with these wonderful people is something I will always cherish. As a side note, I was thrilled to have Mayor Jackson as a passenger on flights several times to Washington D.C. during my career at Delta!

There were many others that I had the privilege of meeting as well. Marketing Representatives frequented the office with travel updates and I befriended several of them. One in particular was with Delta and I was always inquiring about working with Delta as a Stewardess, as they were called at that time. He kept urging me to apply. The only problem was I seventeen and I had to wait until I was eighteen years old. That my friends was about eight months away! I applied any way and I was invited for an interview a short time after my birthday.

Guess what happened? They did not hire me! That did not deter me because I know my destiny had been sealed. I contacted the office of another person I’d met who worked directly with hiring. I asked him why would I not be hired with my knowledge of travel and customer service. He put me on hold for about three minutes and returned to inform me that one more could be added to the next class for training.

My training with Delta Airlines began in September of 1974, two years after I first stepped foot on Georgian soil. This was a dream come true! This dream fueled my passion with determination that still views every experience as adding substance and value to the essence of who I am.

A final thought: NEVER LET GO OF YOUR DREAM!!!!!

Emergency Exits/Evacuation Slides

Equipping for Success

In our previous post (Emergency Equipment), we discovered there was an eminent danger on board the flight to Lagos, Nigeria. The Captain informed me that if we could not extinguish the threat of a catastrophic event, an emergency landing would be unavoidable. This meant that all passengers and crew members would immediately LEAVE THE DANGER BEHIND by the way of EMERGENCY EXITS and EVACUATION SLIDES. This required us to move as far away from the possibility of the development of hazardous elements, such as toxic smoke and intense fire. The EMERGENCY EXITS provided our WAY OF ESCAPE!

When a situation occurs such as this, there are commands and procedures flight crews must implement to initiate the EVACUATION PROCESS. Some examples of these commands are, “RELEASE SEATBELTS!, LEAVE EVERYTHING!, COME THIS WAY!, KEEP MOVING!”. It is so very important not to LOOK BACK or to GO BACK for any reason. Whether any passenger lives or dies in an attempt to seek safety, depends on LETTING GO of What was LEFT BEHIND inside the aircraft!

How is this analogy relative to our LIFE’S JOURNEY? Consider the process of forgiveness and how it speaks to holding on to past hurts and disappointments. Passengers would not be instructed to LEAVE without following several other directives. We’ve heard it said many times, “LET THE PAST GO”. However, what I’ve learned is that the undertaking of RELEASING negative circumstances we encounter requires a purposeful timing which produces a change of heart and mind.

Notice the succession of the EVACUATION COMMANDS: RELEASING >MOVEMENT > DIRECTION. As I previously stated, EMERGENCY EXITS are OUR WAY OF ESCAPE. They direct us to the EVACUATION SLIDES that MOVE us away from danger.

Forgiving is the forging ahead to a destined place by being liberated from the captivity of what poses a danger to our very existence, so we may experience safety and blessing.

God sent Jesus as our EVACUATION SLIDE to deliver us from sin to life everlasting! He frees us from our old sinful lives through the plan (process) of salvation, which is our WAY OF ESCAPE, when there are life threatening emergencies vying for our destiny.

LET GO and LEAVE BEHIND those things you try to hold onto, for they only hold you back!

MOVE far away from the past to a secure place, so that you may be able to serve the world with the greatness that has been bestowed upon you by the God of all creation!

1 Corinthians 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as common to man, but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make a way of ESCAPE, that you may be able to bear it”. (NKJ)

Philippians 3:12-13, “By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us toward Jesus. I’m off running, and I’m not turning back.” (MSG)

Emergency Equipment

Equipping For Success

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 aircraft 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”.

Adapting To Change

Holding Pattern

Have you ever been cruising along the paths of life and suddenly, everything just STOPS? I know COVID is a good example, but let’s put this distraction aside for a moment and consider many other matters that can catapult our lives into a “HOLDING PATTERN.”

As this relates to air travel, a HOLDING Pattern is a route followed by an aircraft above or near an airport while it “WAITS” to land. The source may be due to bad weather which causes reduced visibility, a saturation of air traffic during peak travel times, or runway closures.

Passengers and crew members are imprisoned above the earth until the air traffic controllers release the jetliner for the landing approach. A scenario such as this could take hours and the end result would usually cause missed flights or extensive delays. Sometimes the captain has to abandon the pattern and deviate to another city because fuel reserves are running low.

When faced with such an occurrence onboard a flight, passengers become angry, impatient, irritable, confrontational, resentful and the list goes on! Eventually, your flight arrives at “A” destination. Bear in mind that I said “A” destination, not your destination. Destiny is not always about OUR choosing!

HOLDING in itself is not an inconvenience for the most part. Mirriam Webster defines HOLDING PATTERN as, “a state of WAITING or SUSPENDED activity.”

The pilgrimage through existence consists of our tireless attempts to attain destiny our own way. Even our greatest efforts encounter delayed progress that induce anger, impatience, and resentment. When we are in the HOLDING state, we would be greatly benefited, if we would allow the development of what we need to align with God’s timing.

It would appear that sometimes, dreams are SUSPENDED by outside influences and we dare not look inside to recognize that WAITING expectantly is incorporated in the process of time. Being in a HOLDING PATTERN permits us to gain perspective, reveal our capabilities, redirect our lives or in some cases, even save our lives.

Even when intentions are not what we have planned, examine the great possibilities when JOURNEY lands us in strange and foreign places. The adaptation in the experience will reap great rewards.

Proverbs 16:9, “We can make our plans, but God determines our steps.” (NLT)

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.”