Safe Arrival

Safe Arrival

Even though flight safety has significantly improved in recent decades, flying makes you take a moment to review your life. Though airplane crashes are rare, what makes airplane crashes scary is that we know many accidents with no survivors. In fact, I consider every safe arrival a miracle whether on the road or on air. There are many things that can potentially happen. It is only when we get to heaven we fully understand how God has protected us from "the terror of night, the arrow that flies by day, the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, or the plague that destroys at midday" (Psalm 91, NIV).

My daughter and I were flying from Chicago to Shanghai in August 2016. While flying over Canada’s territory, there was turbulence. It is customary for the crew to warn passengers when the turbulence becomes concerning. At first, we thought it is the usual short turbulence and it was going to stop. When it continued, we were given a warning to buckle our seatbelts. At some point it, it got worse that even the flight attendants shad to down and buckled up.

Everyone became quiet except my seatmate, my seven-year-old daughter. She didn't seem to be bothered by what was happening. But in my mind, I was having a flashback from what I saw in documentaries, NAT GEO AIR CRASH INVESTIGATION. At some point, the plane had a sharp drop in altitude that felt like a roller coaster ride. My anxiety was at a climax when my daughter exclaimed with a big smile on her face, “COOL!” I pretended as if it were cool. Anyway, the sharp drop had sent chills down my spine. It was literally cool. It eventually stoped. Good for my daughter, she rather enjoyed the experience while everyone in the plane who knows about worse case scenarios was tense.

I did not bother to explain it to her how an enjoyable flight can suddenly turn deadly. I believe that God protects us from untimely awareness of the dangers in life. Otherwise, there would be many things we won't even try because of fear. If we want to have a positive outlook in life, there should be a balance between our exposure to tragic and pleasant experiences. If we get overwhelmed by sad news continuously, life becomes gloomy. If it is only pleasant experiences, tragedy will eventually find us unprepared.

The introduction of social media has changed the equation to keep the balance. Social media has the potential to give us a massive dose of tragic news. It randomly exposes us to sad news from all over the world. Scrolling over Facebook Newsfeed is an emotional rollercoaster ride. Your heart rejoices to see a picture of a cute newborn baby only to break apart by next post, a graphic content displaying the execution of innocent children. You can’t feed on everything your Newsfeed serves!

When you are down, burdened by tragic news, it becomes difficult to cheer up. It is essential to guard your spirit if you want to save your energy to shine on your surroundings. Remember, our calling is to be light to the world (Matthew 5:14). You are an instrument through whom God gives hope to those who feel down because of the darkness that exists in this world. Regardless of all the tragedies, it is still possible to be a source of hope and cheerfulness to others, but it needs balance. There is a limit to how much your mind can handle sad news and thoughts.

The significance of balance between happy and sad experiences is embedded in nature. A family mourning a loss of a beloved grandparent finds comfort in newborn grandchild. Losing a parent will break your heart and yet you find strength in knowing that your children need your resilience for their success and happiness. Keeping the balance needs a conscious effort. One good way to keep the balance is to start your day with a spiritual activity. Spend sometime with God through reading his book, prayer, listening to uplifting spiritual songs, writing a journal or even a book and you will find strength to handle the sad news the day may bring to you. The benefit is not only to you but also to the people around you. "Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another, according to Christ Jesus" (Romans 15:5 NASB).


What gives you keep the balance between happy and sad experiences? What do you do when you are overwhelmed by gloomy situations? What would you like people in your circle to do when you are down? What practical things have you done in the past to lift others up when they are down? How do you manage your exposure to overwhelming sad news on social media?

Prayer Journal

What would you like God to grant you during tough times? Are there people in your circle experiencing a tough time whom you would like to pray for? How would you like God to help you lift up their spirit?