Jump directly to the Content

Emergency Instructions

Urgent messages must sound urgent, and other entries from Gordon's journal.

From my journal: It sounds almost liturgical. "Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome aboard U.S. Air flight 354 to Charlotte. In preparation for departure, be sure that all carry-on items are placed under the seat in front of you. Seat backs and tray tables must be in their upright position."

There follows a description of the safety belts (metal end into the buckle), oxygen masks (adults first, then children), water-flotation devices (pull on this handle), emergency exits (two here; two there), and the smoking rule (don't!).

Admission: I usually do not listen to this airline liturgy, having heard bits and pieces of it a thousand times. But on this occasion I am impressed with the dreary monotone, speed-speaking voice that emerges from a bored heart. And it hits me! The voice speaks of things that will be very, very important to me if something goes wrong. If the cabin depressurizes in flight, will I really know what to do with the mask? If a swift exit is necessary, do I really know ...

Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

It's a Flat World After All
It's a Flat World After All
Glocalization: How Followers of Christ Engage the New Flat Earth book review.
From the Magazine
I Cried Out to the Name Demons Fear Most
I Cried Out to the Name Demons Fear Most
How Jesus rescued a New Age psychic from spiritual darkness.
Editor's Pick
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
What Christians Miss When They Dismiss Imagination
Understanding God and our world needs more than bare reason and experience.