I am certain that we have all heard this announcement as we settled in for a flight. The script goes like this:
Oxygen and the air pressure are always being monitored. In the event of loss of cabin pressure, 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 traveling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your own mask first and then assist the other person. Keep your mask on until a uniformed crew member advises you to remove it.
The key phrase in that announcement is “…secure your mask first and then assist the other person.” If we are going to be able to help a child sitting beside us or an elderly person in our row, we must get our mask on first.
There is a very important spiritual principle hidden in that announcement too. Plainly spoken, we can’t share what we do not already have. If we intend to infuse our children with Godly virtues, we have to display them ourselves. If we are going to be a teacher of values and character, we have to be a person of value and character.
If we intend to encourage a friend or coworker, we must head to the deep spiritual well of God’s blessing so we have something to share.
We can’t help a weaker brother or sister if we are ministering out of our own need. There has to be some excess, some extra to share. We have to put on our own mask first.
So maybe this week is a good time to concentrate on our own values and character development. Is there a steady input of Godly principles into our minds and hearts? Are we immersed in God’s word? Are we reading good articles and helpful books? Are we listening to podcasts that build us up? Are we hiding God’s word in our hearts?
Do we regularly allow God’s spirit to minister to us through music or maybe the arts? Is there a piece of poetry that has enriched our souls lately? Do we recognize the voice of the Lord? Can we pass along what He says to others?
“Lord, please help us to strengthen the spiritual input we should all be embracing. Help us to first apply the Godly principles that we personally all need, so then we can share with others. Make us wiser, kinder, more loving and attentive to others. With our own ‘mask on,’ we will be able to help others grow in your grace too.”