Aug 18, 2023 |
Rector's Blog, Nourished by Training| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
Rector's Blog, Nourished by Training
I was talking to a friend recently who is a pilot, and he told me that 30% of his flight training focused on emergency landing and crashing. For all the complexity of plane mechanics, navigation, the physics of flight, and the proper technique for taking off and landing, a full third of the lessons are devoted to catastrophic events.
And that makes sense. If you’re sending someone up in the air, you don’t just want them to know how things work when everything is going well, you want them to have a clear picture of what it looks like when things go wrong, so they can handle the stress of the situation. I had heard about this emergency preparedness for pilots before, funny enough, in a book about churches navigating tumultuous and changing times. The author had been having a similar conversation with a flight instructor and had asked why so much time was dedicated to emergency situations. The instructor responded, we tend to believe that in high pressure situations people have a tendency to rise to the occasion – but in reality, in moments of crisis, people revert to their training.
That really knocked me over. When the chips are down, people don’t tend to become superhuman. We tend to be ourselves. This is not a negative judgment of people, just an observation. I myself like to imagine how I would respond in an emergency. I have very little interest, however, in training for an emergency.