“Here’s a pair of wings because you were listening and following along,” so said the flight attendant. I was handed plastic wings with a safety pin on the back. Generally, they were meant to be neat giveaways to children who were flying, but that day, the fact that I’d grabbed the diagram of the plane and listened aptly to the perfunctory explanation of safety features for the flight touched the heart of the flight attendant.
This got me pondering over how many times flight attendants recite the same speech looking out over the passengers only to see heads turned away, yawns, and other signs that they were being ignored. It must be burdensome to be ignored so many times by so many people so many times a day, a week, a year. Of course, we all know that we never want to NEED to act on the information they share. We might be bored as we wait for the flight to take off, but should something go wrong, all the information shared by the flight attendants will suddenly take on breath-taking importance to us. Statistically, we know that airline flights are very safe. Yet, we also know that things can and do sometimes go wrong. But I think most people ignore the flight attendants’ spiel because taking it seriously means thinking seriously about the possibility of something going wrong with the flight. No one wants to realize that commercial airplanes are designed with features for WHEN flights go awry. No one stops to think that the airline staff is trained specifically for WHEN trouble comes. We don’t like to think about bad outcomes. Such thoughts make us uncomfortable, so we distract ourselves.
People distract themselves from important messages all the time. People ignore warning labels all the time. Far too many people also ignore instruction manuals. That’s why the words assembly required can dredge up memories of furniture and frustration. Why are we like that?
We ignore truth because it is inconvenient, uncomfortable, or unacceptable to us. We wrap distractions around our distortions of truth so that we don’t have to think. We want a top-notch breakfast, but we don’t want to watch the sausage get made. We want the reward, but we don’t want to pay the price or count the cost. This proclivity is nowhere more prevalent than when it comes to listening to God’s Word for our lives. Most won’t and don’t want to hear the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet, nothing is more important than hearing, heeding, and acting on the good news of Jesus Christ.
No matter how reluctant people are to hear God’s Word, as Christians we must keep sharing it. No matter how many times we are ignored, no matter how bored people seem, we must keep on because they will need the message no matter how much they try to avoid it. Pay attention, everyone needs to be rescued by Christ. WHEN is coming, be ready!
Contact Pastor Lamb at firstname.lastname@example.org.