In the event of an emergency

I always read the safety brochure provided in the pocket before any flight. I like to review each time how to open the exit doors and whether I'll have an inflatable slide that turns into a lifeboat or only my seat cushion. One means death by starvation; the other means death by shark.

I've often wondered whether anyone else reads those things. They amuse me. How do they actually expect a panicking mother to put her own mask on first? Does anyone else find that an absurd expectation? But of course it can't be any other way. You can't save your child if you haven't secured yourself first.

It would seem to contradict everything Jesus taught about last shall be first and laying down one's life. But Marcus Grodi in this article gives me pause to consider this a truly Christian response. I'll provide the entire context, but I've highlighted in bold the text that tickles my fancy:

These are only seven of the many "verses I never saw" that opened this convert’s heart to the Catholic Church. Are these verses "silver bullets"? Are they the guaranteed keys to unlock the mind and heart of any non-Catholic friend or relative? No, I’m afraid not. I know many faithful non-Catholics who see these verses and others, who know all the Catholic answers to them, yet are far from ready to come home. Few conversions come about primarily through biblical proof texts and arguments, though these texts can be used by the Holy Spirit. All conversions come about by grace, and so the most important thing we can do to unlock the hearts of potential converts is to pray for them and love them.

So why learn these verses? For this we need to take some advice from the airlines. Whenever we fly, what does the flight attendant tell us to do in the event of a loss of air pressure? Are we to first put the air mask on our children or on ourselves? Ourselves. We cannot adequately help anyone unless we first take care of ourselves. We need to know our faith and why we believe what we do, and we especially need to know the wonderful truths of the Bible so we can pass them on to others. But in all cases, the first heart that always needs to be unlocked by the Bible is our own.


Stina said...

Thank you for this great analogy!

Adrienne said...

Very well said - keep up the good work!

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