“This is your captain speaking. Air traffic control has advised us of severe turbulence ahead.”
This comment brought me out of a nice nap. As a pilot, I know the difference between light, moderate, and severe turbulence. Severe means “momentary loss of control,” something no pilot- and certainly no passenger- wants to hear.
We all waited for the barn doors to be blown off. Thirty eight thousand feet between my lightly padded seat and the ocean below.
This got me to thinking; how often do we simply put off corrective action- things we ought to do, preparations that are needed- because the skies are pretty smooth sailing at the moment? Yet in the moment we face a time sensitive deadline, perhaps inevitable, we bring to bear all of our faculties to win the battle at hand.
Ironically, I was naturally reading up on raising beef cows when this announcement came (just before I dozed off). The author was talking about all the ills brought on by the “pharmaceutical farm” and asked, “Since when has man been able to fool nature?” This was followed by the warning, “nature always bats last.”
I prayed this was not an omen as I pictured the 777 being swatted out of the sky. I sat tensely for the thirty minutes the captain said we might be hit. A long thirty minutes.
Then with a ding of the bell, the seat belt light went off and we all breathed out a sigh of relief.
There are areas of our lives that we can both prepare for the unexpected and adopt measures of planning that make the coming storms or challenges (the inevitable) a space of peace, not necessarily a moment of terror. I do believe we inherently receive the warnings “severe turbulence ahead.” There is a peace that comes through listening to that voice within and preparing in advance for what lie ahead.
While some turbulence cannot be avoided (nature always bats last), the modicum of Think, Plan, Do (see prior blog), seems better than simply “Fasten your seat belts.”
This experience was a reminder to me to keep focused on things that matter most and to not put off needful preparations.