The Exit Row

emergency exit doorI’ve flown more times than I can remember.  In all my years of flying I had never sat in the emergency exit row – until now.  We had a layover and I was lucky enough to stay on the same plane and get first pick of the seats for the rest of our trip.  So I went for it – I sat in the emergency exit row. 

The leg room was amazing and I felt like I was the envy of most of the plane.  Even better – I was flying by myself.  No children to help, no toys to track down, just me, my computer and my books.  I sat next to the window.  Later a man took the aisle and then another man sat in the middle.  We sat in silence as the other passengers found the leftover rows with empty seats.

The flight attendants began their rehearsed script explaining everything from seatbelts and flotation devices to drink options.  As they concluded our row received an up-close and personal speech from one of the flight attendants.  She asked us to pull out our information cards and find the model of our plane – a Boeing 737.  Because this was an older model plane she looked directly at me and explained that I would need to pull down on the handle, bring it into the plane and then THROW the entire window out the opening I had just created.

That’s when my limited understanding of physics kicked in.  I didn’t know how heavy that portion of plane was going to be but I was fairly certain that the strong, middle-aged man next to me would handle those physical demands better than I would.  My mind was still computing the weight-to-strength ratios when the flight attendant asked each of us a question.  “Can you perform these duties during an emergency situation?”.   One at a time each of us looked into her eyes and confidently answered, “yes”. 

As we began to taxi down the runway I turned to the man next to me and said, “I have a question for you.  Would you mind handling the whole window thing and I’ll direct people to the exit?  I’m much better at traffic flow than true physical labor.”  He started laughing and agreed that we would each be much more effective in those roles.

I started thinking about the women in my life and the various gifts they possess.  Some of them are strong when I am weak.  Some of them have a sensitivity toward certain situations that I hope to one day attain, but for now I am growing into who God wants me to be.  Each of my friends have very unique and special traits and I need them in my life.

Let’s read Paul’s words to the Roman church from Romans 12:

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual[a] act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

 3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.

If our plane had crashed that man and I were ready to sacrifice our own well-being to move a window and make a way for people to exit the plane.  the same is true for each of us, because we are mothers we are living a life of sacrifice.   When we carry out this kind of living we need to remember Paul’s words that we are not of this world anymore.  We are not to complain or brag about our role.  God has given us His will and it is perfect.  We can seek out His direction for our life through the women in our lives. 

We are all part of a body and we need each other for support, direction and accountability.  If you have a burden that is simply too much to bear please know that you are not alone.  Find a mother who has been doing this job longer than you and tell them everything!  Then listen to their advice.  They want to love you, help you and encourage you.  Each of us need to be willing to share with each other and help each other.  Our community of smart moms will grow stronger and we will be able to give God all the glory for bringing the right people into our lives at the right time.

Just like the flight attendant says, “Know where the exits are located”, we need to know where we can go when the trials of life become too much to handle.  God is faithful and He will give us what we need to stand up under the weight of anything life can throw at us.

5 Responses to “The Exit Row”

  1. 1 Alyssa Johnson January 29, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Omiword, I can TOTALLY hear you saying that: “The whole window thing” So funny!

    I can’t even count the number of times I’ve seen this scripture come to fruition in the lives of our “Playgroup Mommies.” How many times have we shown up with someone else’s angels to playgroup while their mommy was sick or otherwise incapacitated. How many meals have we provided, prayers have we lifted, bits of mommy advice we’ve offered, knowing we’d be the weary recipient, inevitably, some day soon.

    Paul’s words about sacrifice and not complaining or bragging really hit me. How easy it is to sing the “woe is me” song as a mommy. Or the opposite “I’m the best Mommy EVER” song! What an important reminder that I am serving my LORD, my Abba, first and foremost. Obeying Him because I love Him. Everything else is secondary.

    Thanks for obeying Him through your fantastic service, Friend


    • 2 Kasey Johnson January 29, 2010 at 3:53 PM

      Alyssa, that’ll preach! Well put! You are such a great writer AND mom and I’m so glad to have you as a friend. I could write a book filled with moments that another mom listened, provided and helped me – even when I told them I was fine and I didn’t need anything. Oh how we need each other and we are blessed to be a part of a church and Sunday School class that totally gets that! love it. Keep your chin up during these weary einter days my friend – you are awesome!

    • 3 Candi February 7, 2010 at 9:11 PM

      Love it, Alyssa. Amen

  2. 4 Kasey Johnson January 29, 2010 at 12:30 AM

    Thanks mom – I’m just glad you taught me to think ahead and reach out for some help and let others show their strengths too! Who knows what adventures lay ahead on future flights for both of us – can’t wait to hear your stories next time…love you mom!

  3. 5 Katie Croy January 28, 2010 at 6:24 PM

    What a wonderful blog. I laughed out loud at your conversation with the man in the middle seat! God always provides just what we need and your comments reminded me that I need to ACT like I believe this–not just say I believe it.
    Thanks for the uplift. Mom

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