I confess to not knowing all the reasons behind some of the rules and protocol onboard the airplane. Why do you have to power off your electronics? Why must you have a seat when the plane is taxiing to the gate after landing? I know what I am told, but that does not mean I necessarily see the logic as sound in every situation. Having said that, nothing aggravates me as much as seeing fellow passengers flaunting the express command to cut off their phones. I have seen people finishing texts even as the plane is leaving the ground. Perhaps my feelings make me biased, reading the news story about the “rowdy” high school seniors from the Yeshiva in Flatbush in Brooklyn who were kicked off their 6 A.M. AirTran flight from LaGuardia to Atlanta. According to an AP report, “Southwest Airlines, said in a statement that flight attendants asked passengers several times to take their seats and put their mobile devices away. The airline said that when some didn’t comply, the captain repeated the request. When that didn’t work either, the whole group of students was ordered to disembark for safety reasons” (David B. Caruso, 6/4/13).
Why do so many of us struggle with following the rules? Children don’t want to obey parents. Students don’t want to obey teachers and administrators. Employees don’t want to obey employers. Church members don’t want to obey elders. Mankind doesn’t want to obey God. This tendency is not only widespread, but has been timeless.
If we will honestly assess this problem, we will find that our biggest threat in this matter is internal rather than external. Our biggest enemy in this is ourselves. Certainly, James 1:14 applies to this struggle. We get carried away and enticed by our own lust. With this, that ugly monster of pride swells within us, causing us to think, “Nobody can tell me what to do!” Let us remember Proverbs 16:18! What a dangerous mentality.
Our perfect, innocent Lord faced a painful death on the cross at the hands of wicked men. He did not complain of unfairness or decry His loss of rights. He tearfully, humbly prayed, “Not My will, but Yours be done” (Lk. 22:42). May we humble ourselves and follow His example in the areas of life that require us to submit to the rules.