Under pressure

May 8th, 2018

Some of us prepare and train at length for leadership without receiving many visible opportunities. However, when an engine exploded on flight 1380, Captain Tammie Jo Shults acted with calm wisdom and precision, navigating the Southwest jet to a safe landing. She was prepared through all that life had taught her.

With 149 people on board, the aircraft was traveling 500 mph at about 30,000 feet. Without any warning, the aircraft’s engine burst. “A gust of shrapnel blew out a window, partly sucking one passenger in Row 14 headfirst into the sky. Oxygen masks dropped down and the plane plunged thousands of feet in a minute.” Still, Shults remained calm while conveying the circumstances to authorities on the ground. Obviously, this was a high-stress situation placing many people in danger. Everything rested on the pilot’s ability to navigate the landing safely and calmly.

Led to lead

Shults was prepared for this situation through her years of piloting navy aircraft beginning in 1985. At a time when females were not allowed to engage in aircraft combat, she practiced her skills during training missions, flying opponent jets to help male pilots better prepare. Shults was among a small group of women who worked to see the combat exclusion rule repealed. As a result of her preparation throughout life, Shults skillfully managed to land flight 1380 without further incident.


If you call yourself a follower of Christ, you are leading others whether you want to or not. Sometimes we are thrust into leadership without even realizing it or wanting it. And on occasion, leadership is demanded of us out of necessity. As a disciple of Jesus, our lives are lived out and on display for all to see. Living our lives to glorify God is an act of worship and a mode of leadership. 

Question of the day: How do you lead others without even realizing it?
Focal scriptures: Nehemiah 1:11–2:8; Nehemiah 4:6-18; John 18:12-17; 1 Timothy 4.

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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