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Several months ago, I boarded a plane for a Spring Break trip to Florida. Once everyone had settled into their seats, announcements were made and emergency instructions were delivered. The passengers and crew prepared for takeoff. Our seats were relatively close to one of the flight attendants, and being an avid observer of human nature, I watched this seasoned professional as she followed her protocol. With each hair in place and sitting ram-rod straight in her backwards facing seat with feet flat on the floor, the flight attendant tucked her perfectly-manicured fingers, palms up, under her legs.


Later, once I was back on earth and with my phone out of “airplane mode,” I googled what I had seen, asking the internet why the flight attendant was sitting on her hands, and, subsequently, if I should be doing the same thing. I came across an article from People which explained the reason for this bracing position. A flight attendant named Henny Lim said, “The aim is to keep the body in a rigid pose, so that if there was any impact from an unplanned emergency, the body is damaged less. This keeps body movement restricted so that there is less chance of injury if there was an impact."


The article continued, quoting Hilary Clark, a spokesperson of a private jet company. She said, "The reason for this safety position is if an emergency were to occur on takeoff or landing, their head, hands, and arms are already in a slight brace position.”


Reading their descriptions, I realized that I’ve been in a bit of a bracing position myself, only without the overhead compartments, seatbelts, and tray tables. Since our kids’ existence first became known to me, I’ve been anticipating this time—the years when they grow out of the house and step into adulthood. I’ve been bracing for their takeoff.


I continued reading the article and learned what the flight attendants are supposed to be doing just before takeoff and landing, the time when they’ve just sat on top their hands. This is when they’re expected to take part in a “silent review.” According to an Airbus safety document, "The silent review (or 30-second review) is recommended for cabin crew to mentally recall the key aspects of the emergency evacuation procedure…This silent review will help the cabin crew to focus and be prepared in case an emergency evacuation is required. This technique will also help to minimize the startle effect."


I felt like that was my signal to do the same. I needed to stop and make a silent review, so I talked to God and thanked Him for all the days, months, and years I’ve been able to live in the same house with my kids. I told Him how grateful I was for the people who helped to shape them, and I asked Him to protect and lead them in these next seasons. I also asked Him to help me focus on what’s worth focusing on. And instead of bracing for the next bad thing, I prayed that I can fix my thoughts on Him with a laser focus I’ve been lacking. As it says in Isaiah 26, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord himself, is the Rock eternal.” No more bracing for a crash. I’m racing to the Rock!



Bracing for takeoff

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