Thursday, February 17, 2011

One Plane at a Time

How many difficult issues are you facing right now in your life? How many challenges are you up against? Do you find yourself with some major issues on your plate that need to be dealt with and dealt with soon? Do you feel like you are juggling several dozen plates and trying to keep them all up in the air at the same time so none of them fall on break? What do you do when you are under this kind of stress and pressure?

I was recently talking with a friend whose life I just described in the paragraph above. As we talked I told him of the time I had an opportunity to talk with a gentleman who had worked as an Air Traffic Controller at O'Hare Airport - one of the busiest airports in the world. Talk about a stressful job! He literally spent all day keeping dozens of planes up in the air and safe. Do you know what he said the key was to being successful at that job and not allowing the stress and dangers to control him? Here is what he said his secret was:


That may seem overly simple but it also just might be the advice you need if you too are described by my opening paragraph. You can't land all the planes at once but you can focus on landing just one of them. Deal with these issues one at a time. It's a lot like the answer to the old question, "How do you eat an elephant?" The answer?


So if you feel like your life is overwhelmed with stress and you are trying to keep a dozen or so plates up in the air all the time so that none of them come crashing down, why not pick one of them and bring that plane down safely. Take one bite out of that elephant. Than bring another plane down safely. Take another bite of the elephant. If it works for an Air Traffic Controller - it just might work for you!

Be sure to read my other blog entitled "Hope For Hurting Pastors" at You can leave a comment at either blog or email me directly at

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I find that I become in a place of being overwhelmed because I said "Yes" way too many times. I wanted to teach a series "No means Yes" and give people (including myself) permission to say NO because we are ultimately saying YES to something more important! How often family is left on the back burner while husbands are away doing ministry.

I love the "Land one plane at a time". But it is often a struggle to push back on ministries or individuals who "need" you while you complete a task in one certain area. I guess training some other "air traffic controllers" seems to be part of my others can land some planes too.

How have you been able to prioritize work schedule?

-Jacob Kesling