Shared Experiences

I’ve have flown on quite a few airplanes. An airplane trip is always a shared experience, whether we know anyone onboard or not.  This fall travel season is expected to be the most crowded and delayed since the pandemic (ended?). If airline flights were a church gathering, the opening routine would be called a ritual. The actual flight always begins the same way. The music stops and the leader of the group welcomes everyone aboard and asks that everyone watch and listen to the safety instructions. Bigger airplanes have video presentations that show you what the stewards are also showing you. They always demonstrate how to use a seatbelt. I always wonder “who on this plane still does not know how to use a seatbelt?” Then it is on to “In Case of an Emergency.” They point to the exits and tell about following the lights. If the oxygen masks drop down “put yours on first before helping others.” They do not say why that is important. Then there is usually a follow-up about “water landings” and floatation devices, even if your aircraft will not be flying over any significant body of water. As a wrap-up, you are referred to the instructions in the seat pocket in front of you, just like Bibles in church. 

On airplane trips everyone does everything together. Check-in. Go through the security lines. Empty stuff out onto the conveyor belt and have your body scanned. Sit and wait. Hurry to get on board with everything you could possibly need. Put it all somewhere. Sit and wait for the beverage cart. Hopefully there will be a beverage cart. Fly and read/sleep/wait. Prepare for the landing. Land at the destination. In unison now, turn on cellphones, jump up and try to open the overhead bins, remembering things may have shifted. Stand and wait to get off the plane. 

We identify with each other through our shared experiences. Whether it is a ballgame, a movie, a family gathering, a road trip or anything else, we long for shared experiences. There is a reason for the biblical admonition not to “forsake meeting together” at church. It is up to us to keep our worship experiences fresh and vital, for God is always present, seeking to nourish our very souls as we worship our Lord with each other.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Share in worship. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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