As we head into the final months of the year, it’s important to have this discussion on turbulence. If you’ve never flown before, turbulence can be explained as the plane kind of bouncing around. For first time flyers it can be very scary. You’ll see children begin to call for their parents, and adults who will begin to pray, other times you’ll see more veteran flyers who just continue on as if nothing is even occurring. This last month I’ve made several flights back home to KY and for some reason or another there was turbulence on each flight, on my last flight it was so bad that the seat belt sign was never turned off. In fact, the pilot came over the PA and told us that we would be seated the entire flight and to expect excessive turbulence. Now over my time in the air, I’ve learned to look at the flight attendants. If they don’t look panicked, then it’s all good. The day I see a panicked flight attendant, then I know it’s time for me to start praying too, because the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous availath much.
Let’s get into how we can view turbulence in our life: it can come to us as trouble on the job. Problems with our children. Disagreements with our significant others. Sickness. Death. Grief. Financial setbacks. Self-doubt. Self-sabotaging behaviors. Unplanned pregnancies. Academic setbacks. Depression. Sometimes turbulence will come to us when we are trying to do better. We see it the most just before we’re about to be blessed. Just before the manifestation of the blessing, we hit the greatest amount of turbulence. Before we get too deep, I want you to understand that the presence of turbulence does not mean God is not present. If you practice another form of spirituality or religion then you’ll have to substitute God, I was raised in a Baptist household, and an Apostolic household, so my religious belief in a higher power helps me to walk through some of life’s difficulties.
As we continue today, I want you think about the turbulence you’ve experienced in the past, and what you’re experiencing right now. I don’t want you to think about upcoming turbulence, just focus on the past and the present. How did you overcome, and how you’re about to overcome. Hear me on this, if you get to worrying about the future, that’s something that hasn’t even occurred yet. The past is not for you to beat yourself, but to reaffirm that despite my worst, I can, I will, I must, I shall, I have to make it. Once you’ve reaffirmed your stance, you’ll be more prepared to weather the present. Right now, in this moment God is calling out to you and telling you to pick up the pace. Pick up the pace. Pick up the pace. You’re going through something, and you just been letting that thing wear you down and wear you out, and maybe you’re not sleeping well at night. Tossing and turning, having bad dreams, waking up exhausted, living on autopilot. Whew. When are you going to stand up to that ole devil and do battle? God is ready to bless you! I promise you He’s ready to bless you! But you have got to pick up the pace. Sometimes things will happen in your life that cause you to pick up the pace. A death, a breakup, a termination, a discharge, God is shifting things in your favor, and you have to pick up the pace or you’re going to let the blessing out run you.
The Child on the Plane:
Most children on the plane are terrified of turbulence. I mean let the plane a jolt just a little to the side and they think it’s about to spiral down to the ground. Kids have such wild imaginations that they can almost imagine anything. They lack experience, and so because of this they fill their head up with the next best thing, what they’ve seen on TV. There are adults who live their lives like this. They’ve failed to develop any kind of internal integrity for themselves and when they come up against a challenge they begin to panic. They expect to be saved, they need someone to comfort them, they need someone to let them know that it’s going to be alright. The problem with this mindset is that no one is coming to save you. Yea, there may be some support groups out there that will go around and offer minor assistance, but if you don’t put up a little effort you can die out here. I come from a state that can experience harsh winters. Every year at least one or two homeless people are found frozen to death downtown. There is a significant number of the population that goes to bed hungry at night, and if they don’t go to a local pantry they are at risk of starving.
The child on the plane needs to be coddled. They need to have their back rubbed, my granny would call it soothing. There are certain life events that will break you, no doubt about it, the death of certain family members, suddenly losing your job, and things of that nature have the propensity to take a stable adult and break them. But it is critical that we have the skills in place to work through the trauma, because life does not stop. We have some safeguards in place so that we can tend to our needs, but life most certainly without a doubt goes on.
The Panicked Adult:
The panicked adult on the plane recognizes that what’s happening with the plane is not entirely the way the flight should be going. The unnatural movement of the plane causes concern because in their mind they had the route mapped out, they had an idea of what kind of air they would be flying in, they probably picked a direct flight to avoid any complications, probably didn’t check a bag to save time once they landed, may have even booked an exit row seat so they could stretch out a bit. So, this unplanned turbulence is really messing up the flight for them. The cabin crew having to be seated, the seat belt light being illuminated, and the constant bouncing of the plane is really throwing them off course. You might see them trying to brace themselves on the seat in front of them every so often. They may clutch the arm rest for a sense of false security. If it’s really pressing, they may close their eyes and force their head into the head rest.
If you’ve ever seen the show ‘Monk’ then you probably have a great idea of the person we’re talking about. I have a love hate relationship with people who are seriously OCD. They are painstakingly meticulous in how they do things, sometimes it is just certain things. Everything must be down to the inch! But what happens when something is out of place, for the OCD person this mimics a loss of control. For some, that loss of control can send them in a panic, with real psychological and physiological setbacks. Which leads us to the relaxed flyer.
The Relaxed and Confident Flyer:
This is by far my favorite type of person on the plane. Much like the flight crew you’ll only see this person panic when the turbulence is real. Typically, on the flight this person might be asleep, may be reading a book, might even be drinking coffee, or an adult beverage. Sometimes you’ll see them say a quiet prayer and rest it over in God’s hands. This flyer understood that although they knew the flight path, they could not control the journey. They’re trusting in the experience of the pilots and crew to get them where they intend to be. In a past episode, we talked about the trajectory of life, how we can sometimes find ourselves wading through a valley, and other times we get to stand breathless at the view from the mountaintop. But in order to get to the mountaintop we have to climb the mountain.
Everything is a Process:
You have to understand that everything in life is a process. There is something to be learned from everything and anyone we encounter. Let’s stay with the airport. In order to purchase a plane ticket, you have to know what airport you’re going to fly from, what airport you’re going to fly to, your flight dates, flight times, how much baggage you may or may not have, whether you’ll need and ID or passport, a credit or debit card, and transportation to and from both airports. This is all before you even understand that you may not know the layout of the airport. Can you imagine landing late in a connecting city, having to run through an unknown airport, hoping to make your connection so you don’t have to wait or stay their overnight? Such is life! We are all treading on unfamiliar territory, with every decision we make we are navigating life the best way we each know how.
I don’t want to be before you too long so let me say these things:
- Feeling depleted does not mean that God is not with you.
- The presence of doubt does not mean that you’re not capable.
- The way that you see yourself will speak volumes to how you care for or beat yourself up.
- Just because there are problems where you’re at does not mean that God does not want you there. There will be problems everywhere.
- God means for our journey to be tough at times.
- Through our interactions with our enemies, who dig into the sensitive areas of our lives, we are made stronger.
- The walk of faith is tough. You might get beat up on the fight. Life can be rough and unfair. But it is through these hardships that we become fortified and wiser.
- The closer you come to the promise the more difficult the opposition will become.
T.D. Jakes made this illustration: The woman knows the baby is about to come because of the intensity of the pain. When the labor pains are greatest the woman is told to push. I’m telling you this because this portion of his message dealt with being in close proximity to your promise. When I went hiking up to the volcano in El Salvador, we first had to travel down into the valley, go through the valley, and then climb up a winding path to get to the mouth of the volcano. It was a hard task, and the closer we got to the top, the steeper the climb became. So, you have to understand that your rewards, your promise, your blessings will require you to labor. Sometimes the conditions will be unfavorable, and you’ll be uncomfortable but labor anyway. Everything that we encounter is working for our higher good in some way or another.
Today’s message was about the turbulence of life. It comes in many ways and at many times. Sometimes you can be going through one thing, and boom here is something else to deal with. The old folks would say “if it ain’t one thing it’s another”. But as these “things” keep occurring, and things will keep occurring, be mindful to keep a record of how you’ve been handling yourself and negotiating the turbulence in your own life. Remember to reaffirm that from your past experiences you can, and you will make it. Focus on your present and be like the relaxed and confident flyer. Short of being in a life or death situation, just about everything else that we deal with in life can be resolved in a few months. When you start to reshape how you view these challenges, you’ll be better suited to handle them.
Thank you so much for tuning in. Remember you can always follow me on IG or twitter at COACHLATHAM_PHD for daily affirmations and to book life coaching sessions. Be kind to yourself, and be kind to others.
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