What's Your Altitude?
by Chaplain Marc Gauthier
Did you know that your altitude determines your attitude? Jesus, the highest being there ever was and ever will be, voluntarily lowered Himself. He put Himself in such a low position that He was called a servant.
What does a servant deserve? Nothing. Whom does a servant depend upon? His master. Whose attitude are we called to display? The attitude of Jesus Christ.
Have you ever been short with others, demanding or demeaning in your encounters with people? Are you quick to judge others and place yourself above them in the pecking order? If the answer is "yes" to any of these, your altitude is too high resulting in an attitude that is too high. Pride, placing ourselves first, is an indicator that we are too high on ourselves.
Recently, we've been extremely challenged by several assignment gyrations. Things we thought we were going to do have opened and then closed. I've struggled with anger, disappointment, and frustration.
These feelings identify that my altitude is way too high. It forces me to remind myself that I'm God's property to do with as God sees fit for His good pleasure. I need to put the nose down and get back to earth just like Jesus did.
Hearing Christ's Call
Jesus calls us to a lower altitude. With that lowered altitude we will start to have the right attitude. When we lower ourselves, when we live life "nap of the earth," we will model the attitude of Jesus. Ultimately the altitude and attitude of Jesus is one of our greatest quality of life steps. When we see ourselves as servants with no rights or privileges, dependent completely on our Heavenly Father we are postured to deal with the headaches, heartaches and unfairness of life in the best way possible.
When you feel tempted to demand your rights or exert your will, lower yourself to Jesus' level. Say to yourself, "I don't deserve anything. Any good thing I receive I get by grace." We belong to God and depend upon Him. If life seems unfair say, "What more can a bond-servant expect?"
Last month I had the unique opportunity to sit in the cockpit of a C130 as it took off and flew out of Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. When the plane was making its climb over the mountains, I heard a female voice say, "Altitude. Altitude." Pilots know that this is a warning they are starting to get too close to the ground. When the voice warns them, they respond accordingly.
Followers of Jesus Christ need to listen to the Holy Spirit's voice when it warns us, "Altitude. Altitude."
But as Christ's followers, this is not a warning we are getting too low. It is a warning we are getting too high! When you hear that prompting through life's challenges, consider it a warning that you are getting too high on yourself. Your attitude right now is not like Jesus' attitude. Lower yourself, push forward on the stick, and get yourself back to "nap of the earth" flying where Jesus Himself flew as the chief servant.
Remember why we just celebrated Christmas. It is all about a great God who willfully humbled Himself by coming into our world through a manger--and eventually to a cross to be our ultimate example, and most importantly our Savior. As we start this new year, let's strive to model His life in our lives with the right altitude.