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.

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.”

Sojourning

Reflections

Every experienced traveler must have a time to rest and reflect on how they have progressed along the way. Each encounter is documented as a stepping stone to achieve destiny. So today, I wish to give you some inside information, that inspired me to begin writing this blog in the first place.

I was born in Belhaven, a VERY tiny fishing town in the state of North Carolina. My childhood memories were about a beautiful place where I encountered magnificent splendor at every twist and turn. We lived near an inlet called “Pamlico Sound,” and when night time fell, everything was so still, the ebbing of the tide could be heard everywhere. The grass was green and lush in summertime, and the ever present smell of the ocean was pure and clean. Stars sparkled with such brilliance, that they extinguished the light of even the largest diamond. Frequent rainstorms replenished the earth with with an array of colorful flowers and provided the best vegetables for our family, that my father harvested in our backyard garden.

There was a bridge that connected Belhaven to the other side of the “Pamlico Sound”, and my family very seldom ventured too far from the outskirts of that bridge. However, there was a burning desire within me to know the world beyond that boundary.

One day my father purchased a volume of Shakespeare from a yard sale and placed them conveniently beside the night table in my bedroom. Maybe he sensed the spirit of adventure in me, when I sat out early one Saturday morning, to find the end of the rainbow. Little did he know that would be the beginning of a journey that has never ceased.

My Paternal Grandmother would read the Bible to me every night and it dawned on me that some of the same places mentioned in Shakespeare, were also mentioned in the bible. Immediately, I developed a love for God and marveled at the teachings of Jesus and how much he loved me. Strangely ,this reinforced my inclination to travel the world.

Fast forward to the year of 1974, when my airline career began. Each interaction with people of ALL NATIONALITIES, presented an opportunity for encouragement and sincere love, even if there was a language barrier.

God used my job as a tool (calling), to be a light for HIS love, mercy and grace, all over the world!

My mentor Dr. Myles Munroe said, “Your job is what you are paid to do, your work is what you are called to do.”

THIS BLOG IS A WORK OF GOD THAT COMPARES ALL THE OCCURENCES OF AIR TRAVEL TO WHAT WE CONFRONT IN LIFE.

It is based on principles of the word of God, so look deeply into each posting, even if a scripture is not written. (Principle is defined as a fundamental truth that serves as a foundation for a belief).

It’s been quite a journey from that tiny town, but remember “journey is the essence of destiny.”

Everyone’s journey is different, but we must ALL allow the process of time, for it is divine preparation to fulfil the Master’s plan.

Remain on this journey with me and share some thoughts about your process, together we are sure to make an impact on the world.

Embracing Change

Reroute

I can remember many times during my airline career as a Flight Attendant, being sent to an unintended destination due to severe storms or some type of aircraft mechanical problem.

A ten hour work day would quickly become sixteen hours on duty! Then came the most dreaded assignment relayed to crew members from Flight Crew Scheduling- “You have been rerouted to another city.” Our expectations were shattered, especially if we had plans for enjoying a great escape to a favored metropolitan destination.

For example, my flight crew was prepared to land in a more desirable city, but realizing we had to accept the alternate assignment, led us to seize this opportunity by utilizing some hidden treasures in ourselves that had never been exposed. Some by products that came into view were patience, creativity, gratitude and determination.

We used our tools of annual training to navigate the challenges of those changes that necessitated employing a different operation. Highly effective interpersonal skills were very important to help passengers deal with missed flights, lost baggage, etc. We had the opportunity to apply the knowledge we had accumulated from our experiences throughout our tenure of service.

The entire process of a reroute demanded that we adapted to each stage using a different approach. The adaptation process would consist of downgrading or upgrading to a different aircraft, which in some instances an aircraft no one had ever even set foot in. Additionally, we’d switch airport terminals/gates sporadically, two to three times within a matter of minutes, or just sat on the tarmac with passengers for six hours or more.

I’ve come to understand that in my life’s journey, humans adapt to almost anything, but what became essentially clear, is that everything in life must change – often times for a greater purpose.

Changes are REROUTES in our journey to help us discover and rediscover, our strengths, frailties, and capabilities. This is why we must embrace change and grasp the notion that we are transformed by how we adapt. In most circumstances, our minds must be retrained to center on how each experience qualifies us to be productive at any stage of our lives.

Author, Pastor and motivational speaker John Maxwell says, “Change is inevitable, growth is optional.”

You and I can choose to embrace change and not neglect its true value. If the seasons of our lives do not encounter change, we could not appreciate the blessings in each season as an opportunity to impact the world, with our mission, assigned by God.

Adapting To Change

Jet Stream

If you are a weather groupie like me, you are extremely fascinated by changes in weather patterns and how they cause us to tailor our everyday lives.

The phenomenon responsible for these changes is referred to as the “JET STREAM.”

Let’s define this phrase before we move on. Simply put, Jet Streams are bands of strong wind that generally blow from opposite directions all across the earth. They impact weather, air travel and many other things that take place in our atmosphere.

Aviators must calculate flight plans that require adjusting fuel, airspeed and altitude regulated by the intensity and position of the Jet Stream. These calculations will often result in early/late arrival to the intended destination, avoidance of severe turbulence, alternate routes, or in some instances, a flight diversion. (landing in an unintended destination)

When we are faced with Jet streams of life, it is imperative to redesign our course. One thing is certain, Jet streams will always be with us-around the globe and in our souls!

Think about how you will adapt when you encounter strong winds of life blowing from one day to the next day or even from one minute to the next minute.

Jesus told His disciples of the Jet Streams they would encounter in the world. He charted their paths by giving them tools to help them adapt-truth, joy and peace. These would help them navigate successfully around the issues that challenged them.

In the last verse of John 16:33 Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Take one day at a time, to determine in prayer the adjustments you need to construct, to continue on this journey.

Jet streams of life will propel us or slow us down or send us in another direction altogether. We have the capability given to us by faith in God which allows the fine tuning of our destination!

Seatbelts

Releasing Potential

Seatbelts restrain us from movement during different phases of flight on board a commercial jet. Once our seatbelts are released, we are free to move about the cabin or exit through the forward door upon landing, after being secured to the jet bridge. We progress forward until we reach the awaiting concourse which leads us to another flight or our intended destination.

If we remain attached to our seats, no progress takes place. We are then parallel to “potential in dormancy.”

Potential is liberated in several ways.

Firstly, RECOGNIZE that we are more than what our reflection in the mirror says.

Secondly, SIT quietly and imagine what you desire to develop within the deepest part of your soul that will make a difference in the world – even if it’s something bigger than yourself. 

Albert Einstein said, “ Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Thirdly, FOCUS on what causes you to have a heartfelt zeal that is greater than anything else in your day-to-day existence.

ACCEPT that these three simple steps will unfold your true calling. Oftentimes, the world we live in suggests complicated avenues to obtain our purpose – a formal education is one of them. Education does qualify us, but it does not DEFINE the essence of who we are. We must surely avail ourselves to every opportunity for improvement to keep our brain functioning at its best. 

Remember to dig deeper into the heart where potential is hidden for a time and released at the appointed time.