Part 1 of a Series
Several years ago I flew to Florida for a preaching opportunity. The church in Florida had booked my flight out of Huntington, WV which happened to be the closest airport to us at the time. Huntington is a small airfield situated on a mountaintop.
Small airport = Small airplanes.
I am not small.
So when my 6’7″ frame tried to squeeze into an airplane designed to hold 20 people the result was humorous. Imagine a human accordion squeezing and contorting to fit snugly into a space designed for the munchkins of Oz. I nearly choked when the attendant said I needed to buckle-up for take off as if I was going to come loose and fall out of the seat. No, I did not need a seat-belt. What I needed was a crow-bar (or a “Caution: Contents under pressure!” sign). That’s when the words you dread to hear came over the intercom, “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. I’m sorry to inform you that our flight has been delayed due to fog on the mountain.”
After the collective groan from the dozen passengers, the flight attendants handed out a small bag of pre-packaged cookies to the now captive flyers. At the time I didn’t want to eat the cookies lest I expand another millimeter and become a permanent fixture of the aircraft. Visions of Winnie the Pooh stuck in Rabbit’s hole served to tame my appetite so I resorted to playing with the bag of goodies. A small pocket of air was trapped inside the bag during the packaging process which delighted my bored mind to no end. I squeezed air from one end of the bag to the other making a nice crinkly-rattle type of sound. I even found that I could use the bag as a percussion instrument:
I know, not very catchy, but hey, I was bored!
Then it happened. “POP!” The seam on the bag burst and my precious cookies were no longer protected by the foil packaging. They were exposed and in danger of becoming stale, which is a cardinal sin to a cookie connoisseur such as myself. I had to do something. My mind raced. I needed something that I could put the cookies in that would have a nearly air-tight seal. Then my eyes alighted on the perfect solution. The air-sick bag! It came fully equipped with a sticky strip to seal the contents within. It was exactly what I needed so I placed my snack in the bag.
Fast forward about an hour to when it came time to disembark the sardine can with wings. As I made my way up the narrow aisle, I had to turn sideways in order to pass between seats. In my forward hand I carried my cookies. The ever-watchful attendant noticed the package, and per her training offered to dispose of the airsick bag along with it’s contents. At first, I was oblivious to her interpretation of the bag in my hand,
“Oh! No thanks. I’m saving this for later.”
Her look of utter confusion sparked my slow brain to realize what she thought was in the bag. In vain I attempted to explain,
“You don’t understand. I tossed my cookies in there.”
Alas, by this time she was thoroughly flummoxed and I, tired of preventing my fellow passengers from disembarking walked away from a situation where words failed me, leaving behind a confused woman who was just trying to do her job
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where there was a mental disconnect from the person/people you were trying to communicate with? I have and it’s disconcerting and discouraging. Especially when sharing the Gospel. I have heard countless stories of good, intelligent Christian men and women being discouraged when they attempt to share the gospel. They try and try, but the result is not much different than my experience with the flight attendant. Their words fail them and their audience is totally disconnected from the message they were attempting to share.
Over the next several postings I am going to explain one of Satan’s tactics in this age of information. It’s a tactic that creates confusion and often a disconnect between Christians and non-Christians. What is this tactic? It’s the changing of definitions. Stay tuned.