Lessons from an Airplane Factory

May 19, 2009 by Paul Chappell

f22_09

Last week, I had the privilege of preaching for a wonderful church in the Atlanta, Georgia area.  On our way to the airport Wednesday morning, one of our members, who is an is an accomplished combat pilot and leader in F-22 developmental test, had arranged for Dr. R.B. Ouellette and I to take a tour of the F-22 factory in Marietta, Georgia.  The factory was overwhelming for many reasons.  First, the size was amazing!  Built over a thirteen-month period during the World War II era, this is one of the largest buildings under one roof in America.  Second, the number of different aircraft built at this factory is astounding!  Some of the greatest airplanes ever built were assembled there in Marietta.

The plant manager took time to show us through the assembly procedures for the F-22 aircraft.  This aircraft is leading the way in the defense of our nation during this important time in world history.  Dr. Ouellette and I could sense the pride the workers take in their mission.

One thing that has always amazed me about any airplane assembly line is the cleanliness of the building where the assembly takes place.  Signs abounded in this particular building that said “Beware of FOD.”  FOD stands for “Foreign Object Debris.”

One of our guides on the tour said, “The greatest factor in the rising expense and sloth of the progress in aerospace projects is FOD.  Just a little FOD can ruin an entire project.”

When our guide spoke this way about the small amounts of debris creating such a problem, I could not help but think of the problem that just a little sin creates in the heart of a Christian.  In Galatians 5:7–9, the Apostle Paul said to the church in Galatia, “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?  This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.  A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”

In this passage, sin is likened to leaven, which rises in the life of a Christian.  Most of us have had opportunity to attend at least one, and perhaps many, revival meetings.  In meetings such as this, the evangelist or pastor encourages us to keep “short accounts with God.” Just a little bit of bitterness, lust, or envy can ruin a person’s entire life and testimony.  May God help us to beware of FOD.

I thank God for our defense industry and for the faithful men and women who serve America today.  May we, as Christians, keep our defenses up by dying to self and walking in the Spirit day by day!


1 Comment »

  1. Even FOD as small as volcanic ash can cause all engines of a passenger jet to fail: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_Object_Damage

    There are billions of dollars spent by the aviation industry to prevent FOD. May we put the proper emphasis on preventing sin in our lives.

    Great article! _Scott

    Comment by Scott Hand — May 21, 2009 @ 5:54 am

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