How many of you have heard this speech while getting ready to take off in an airplane?
In the event that our cabin pressure should change, an oxygen mask will be released from the overhead compartment. Please place the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping small children or others who may need assistance.
This might seem a little selfish at first. I mean - making sure you get the oxygen mask on yourself first - aren't we the important one? But, the reason for placing the mask on your face first is not selfish but obvious. If you faint from lack of oxygen, you can't help anyone.
I've been reading the book, One Month to Live, by Kerry and Chris Shook. They use this example in Day 5, and it really made me think.
Those words from the airline to first take the oxygen for yourself has a spiritual truth within it.
"If you're going to make the most of your time on earth, living a no-regrets lifestyle, then you need to engage fully with those around you. You want the people you love to know just how much they mean to you. You want to be a healing agent in the lives you touch, leaving behind a legacy with eternal impact. But the only way to accomplish these goals of authentic living is first to take time and focus on yourself. If you're not healthy spiritually, physically, emotionally, and relationally, how can you move beyond yourself and invest in others?"
This struck me as a perfect way to explain the fact that I, as a Christian, must sometimes step back and analyze myself. Do a little health check. Am I where I need to be in my spiritual walk? Am I connected to my lifeline - the Lord? Do I see the responsibility I have to care for my temple? Do I pray for self-control for my emotions? Do I approach relationships as God would have me to - a servant?
I cannot give away what I don't have.
Right now, I'm taking some time to breathe deep first so later I can help others.
How about you? Do you need to grab that oxygen mask and breathe?