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April 13, 2020 - Checking Out

Anyone who has ever flown commercially knows that, at times, things can get pretty stressful and frustrating. Missed connections, late flights, bumpy rides, lousy food, whatever. It can be enough to make you curse the day that you boarded the flight and swear that you will never fly again, or at least on the offending airline.

If that’s how we might feel as passengers, imagine what it must be like for flight attendants, those who get on these flights every day for a living? They, too, must have days in which they wish they never got on the plane.

Such as the time, about ten years ago, when Jetblue flight attendant Steve Slater had enough. After a dispute with a passenger who got up too soon to get his luggage, Slater got on the intercom and let loose a string of invectives. Then, amazingly enough, he grabbed the lever that opened the emergency door and chute, and, before exiting on it, grabbed a beer. “Then, after declaring that 20 years in the airline industry was enough, he blurted out, ‘It’s been great!’ He activated the inflatable evacuation slide at a service exit and left the world of flight attending behind.”

And that was it. He got out.

Some of us, no doubt, have days like that. We need an escape, a refuge, a place to go to, well, “check out,” at least for a time. That’s what prayer, Bible reading, Bible meditation, can do for us. We can immerse ourselves in the Word of God, in the promises of God, in the truths of God’s word, and His promises of peace. The Hebrew word for “peace,” shalom, is rich with connotations of healing, hope, promise. “You will keep him in perfect peace; Whose mind is stayed on You; Because he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3).

Sure, we all need refuge from the hassles of the world. And there’s no better place to go to than the refuge our Lord offers us. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

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