"If we lose cabin pressure, please put on your oxygen mask before assisting others."
These are the words we all hear when we board and airplane and the flight attendants go through the safety protocol. I was reminded of this protocol as I was reading The Last Lecture, by the late Randy Pausch. He was speaking of his wife as the primary caregiver of three children and a terminally ill husband and said that she would sometimes forget to put on her oxygen mask before assisting others. I immediately thought about how I forget to put on my oxygen mask before assisting others when it comes to my spiritual life and relationship with God.
Whether you work at a church, in the business world, at home, single, married, widowed, retired, etc. we will all start gasping for air if we do not put on our oxygen masks before assisting others. Not only will we be gasping for air, but we will be of no benefit to those around us.
I think why this illustration hit me so hard is that I have been doing so much without putting on my spiritual oxygen mask to the point where I am not good for myself or anyone around me. This mask isn't just for when we lose cabin pressure, but at all times. What am I breathing in? Who am I breathing in? Am I breathing in truth, life and God Himself or am I trying to sustain myself with my small gasps of tainted oxygen?
I wish I could have an actual airplane oxygen mask and put it in my office, as a reminder of the need for a connection with God each and every moment of my life, in the large and small things as well as the exciting and mundane. We should all heed the safety protocol of those flight attendants and put on our oxygen mask before assisting others.