“Oxygen and the air pressure are always being monitored. In the event of a decompression, an oxygen mask will automatically appear in front of you. To start the flow of oxygen, pull the mask towards you. Place it firmly over your nose and mouth, secure the elastic band behind your head, and breathe normally. Although the bag does not inflate, oxygen is flowing to the mask. If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.”
If you have ever flown before you have heard these instructions at least once.
I have never been in a situation serious enough for the masks to be lowered. However, if it happens, action must be taken immediately.
Did you notice that you are told to secure your mask first before you assist someone else? Wouldn’t it be the opposite? I have often wondered about that. And today, without looking for an answer the light bulb came on.
Here’s how it came to me.
I was in a meeting today with Chief Larry Few, Fire Chief for the Fulton County Fire and Rescue Department outside of Atlanta, Georgia. Along with Assistant Fire Chief Jack Butler we were discussing the advantages and benefits of higher education and being able to serve others through a college degree.
Chief Few said, “It’s like this. You know when you are on a flight and they give you the pre-flight speech? When they give the instructions regarding decompression, they instruct you to put your mask on first before you attempt to assist another. Why? Because unless you have oxygen you can not help someone else receive oxygen. You have to have before you can help someone else have.”
Light bulb moment above my head.
He was exactly right. I can not help someone else unless I have first received help. I can not offer hope to those who are hopeless unless I have first found hope. Without it, even though I might attempt to help them I am as hopeless as they.
“And do not neglect going good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Hebrews 13:16
That which you have been given, share with others.
The peace that you have found, show others the path to that same peace.
When the turbulent times come in life, and they will, when others are panicking, take the mask, take in the oxygen and with your sound mind and wits about you, help others to put on their mask and be saved.
The mask is God’s plan for their life. It is dangling right in front of them. You can help them put it on.