Parable of Refueling

Sep 27, 2022

Already Delayed 

The captain said, “My powers of salesmanship were not successful.” Our flight had already been delayed forty minutes. On a commercial flight, a simple mechanical concern can often be resolved quickly but then there is paperwork. The paperwork can take the most time. 


Trying to make up for the delay the Captain appealed to carry less “contingency fuel.” He argued that we had more than enough to make it to our destination. He said, “We have plenty of fuel.” He knew adding 100 gallons of fuel would be a lot quicker than 400 gallons of fuel. He suggested we could fly at a lower altitude and therefore use less fuel and keep more than enough in reserve.


His request was rejected. The route is known. The airplane is known. The load capacity is known. But the airline likes to leave a larger margin for contingency. It meant an additional twenty minutes to our wait time—giving me the opportunity to consider the margins in my own life.


Am I Leaving Enough Margin?

Am I leaving more than “plenty” in the tank for contingencies—for the inevitable unexpected?


Am I leaving more than plenty to allow for rest?


Am I leaving more than plenty to allow for focus on the emergencies of a loved one?


Am I leaving more than plenty to see the joy in my present moments?


Am I leaving more than plenty to move beyond proximity into real connection with the loved ones I live with?


Am I leaving more than plenty to follow a prompting or creative nudge?


Know Your Priority

One of my daughters is focusing on rest this week. Her friend asked, “How do you know what to say No to?” She said, “This week I know my priority is rest so whatever gets in the way of a good night’s sleep is what I say No to.”


When you know your priorities, it’s easier to make more than plenty of room for them.


Here’s to more than plenty of margin around what matters most to you,



Emily + Erik


Family first doesn't mean Mom + Dad last.

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