How to Identify and Avoid a Plane Crash

Arena Men,

As the husband of a flight attendant who spends 90 hours a month (not to mention the countless hours in airports, on layovers, and commuting) in the air, I was especially tuned-in when Men in the Arena Podcast guest Jerry Schemmel spoke. Jerry was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 232 from Denver to Chicago on July 19, 1989, when the DC-10 he was on suffered the failure of its tail-mounted engine, leading to the loss of all flight controls and crash landing that killed 111 of the 296 people on board.

On our podcast, Jerry shares the painful loss of his best friend and traveling partner and the life-changing lessons he learned that fateful day. Specifically, he details how he helps men avoid plane crashes in their lives.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Planes, trains, and automobiles wouldn’t be invented for nearly two thousand years, but ships had been around for centuries. If Paul wrote 1 Timothy 1:18-20 today, he might have used a plane crash analogy instead of a shipwreck. Who knows? Instead, he warns Timothy against a looming shipwreck, naming two real men who experienced real shipwrecks of faith:

This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck regarding their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan so that they will be taught not to blaspheme.

Controlled Crash

Speaking with pilots, I was slightly alarmed to learn that there is no such thing as landing an airplane. I am told it is more like a “controlled crash.”

How about you? Is it only a matter of time before the world sees your wreckage? The addiction you are hiding. The emotional affair you are denying. The sordid adulterous rendezvous that is getting hotter. The marriage that is months away from ending. The job you are barely hanging on to. The health issues you have ignored for decades. The hearts of the children you are neglecting.

Safety Demonstrations

Shanna gets annoyed when passengers ignore flight attendants during the safety demonstration. Maybe it is because they are already buckled when instructed on how to put on the buckle! But there is one important life lesson during every safety demonstration, “Put your oxygen mask on before you help anyone else.”

In other words, you can’t help others if you need help. For men, when you get it right—everyone close to you gets it right. Here are some simple steps to help you avoid a plane crash.

Safety Check #1 (Psalm 26:2): Examine your life. Look at it carefully. Dive into deep waters. Is there anything that could ruin you, embarrass those you love, and damage the witness of Jesus if it became public? Be brutally honest.
Safety Check #2 (James 5:16): Confess your sins. Grab a trusted brother in Christ and have them pray over you. Bringing darkness to light is the most difficult step, but you will find it underwhelming for your brother who probably already knows about it and may struggle in that area as well.
Safety Check #3 (Mark 2:1-12): Plug in! Join a small group of men who are committed and have your back. In 1854, Henry David Thoreau rightly observed, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” This is because they have no men to regularly connect with who have their back.
You do not have to be that guy. Click here, to visit our website, and “join our program” for placement on one of our many virtual teams. By next week at this time, you will be connected to an awesome group of men just like you.

Safety Check #4 (Galatians 5:13-14):
Steward your life. A candle never loses its flame when it lights another candle. It only produces more light and heat.

Jerry Schemmel’s story is not only about survival but saving the life of a precious infant. When we give our lives to others in Christian service, we discover the life we’ve always dreamt of. Life is not about you. It is about giving it away to others.

Learn to Soar

  • Grow in your passion for God by listening to the Men in the Arena Podcast. Be watching any day now for the release of my new book, Guts, and Manhood: The Four Irrefutable Attributes of Courage. This book will change your life.

  • If you desire to build deeper friendships with your children, make sure you download my free book, Tell Them: What Great Fathers Tell Their Sons and Daughters including 200 “tell them’’ statements, Bible verses, and meditative images to help dads become their best version. Add this fathering weapon to your arsenal.

  • Engage on our Facebook Forum with almost 12,000 men in lively conversations about everything related to manhood.

Welcome to the Best Year of Your Life!