I’m not a frequent flyer. I can count the occasions for which I have flown somewhere without taking my shoes off. But I have flown pretty recently and I do understand some of the standard practices.
I know how to use airplane mode.
When the plane begins to pull away from the gate and taxi out to the runway for takeoff, the flight attendants give their announcements and then urge us to switch all communications devices off or into airplane mode. They don’t want any devices sending or receiving signals so that there is no possibility of those signals interfering with the functioning of the plane and its complex operations.
And for that short window of time, until the plane reaches an appropriate altitude, we sit with our devices crippled – unable to communicate with any other devices or networks or systems. All we have available to us at that point is what lies within the device itself.
It’s an odd feeling – being utterly unreachable for that short time. I must be honest and say that it’s uncomfortable. I don’t think I’m alone. I think that, for so many of us these days, there is this connection addiction into which we have fallen.
Some of you are even now reasoning through the ways you are the exception to this addiction and, while I hope you’re right, I also know that some of you are lying to yourselves. You can’t stand to not read that text or see who sent that email or read the comment on your facebook post.
It’s a very difficult chain to break…but I do have a suggestion. What if we developed the discipline of switching into airplane mode – without the airplane?
You see, when we step back from all of the external signals and stimuli…when we shut off the music and the videos and the alerts and the voices…we have left only what is internal.
If you know Jesus, then He has put His Holy Spirit within you.
So, when you shut off the external – switch to airplane mode – you give the Holy Spirit the space to work on you…and rearrange you…and re-create you.
It may start with switching your devices off or into airplane mode. It may mean that you unplug altogether and find a quiet spot to just be still.
As Jesus called His ministry-busy disciples to do in Mark 6:
“Come away by yourselves to a desolate [empty] place and rest a while.” -Mark 6:30
He lived it Himself and then He called us to do the same. Come away. Come by yourself. Come to an empty place with no one around. And rest.
So, I’d like to know…how do you switch to airplane mode?