Check Your Details by Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

A friend sent me an email of the following story.  I found it preposterous but asked my friend who worked in the nuclear weapon’s lab to verify it.  He did, with only a couple of modifications, not significant enough to mention.

Scientists at NASA built a gun specifically to launch standard, four- pound, dead chickens at the windshields of airliners, military jets and the space shuttle, all traveling at maximum velocity. The idea was to simulate the frequent incidents of collisions with airborne fowl to test the strength of the windshields.

British engineers heard about the gun and were eager to test it on the windshields of their new high-speed trains. Arrangements were made, and a gun was sent to the British engineers.        When the gun was fired, the engineers stood shocked as the chicken hurled out of the barrel, crashed into the shatterproof shield, smashed it to smithereens, blasted through the control console, snapped the engineer’s back-rest in two, and embedded itself in the back wall of the cabin, like an arrow shot from a bow.

The horrified Brits sent NASA the disastrous results of the experiment, along with the designs of the windshield and begged the U.S. scientists for suggestions.

NASA responded with a one-line memo:                                                                    “DEFROST THE CHICKEN.”

Such a minor detail, right?  But as we all know, that’s where the most problems occur.

Dave and I have been visiting with our son Jeff and his wife Kira.  Kira is taking classes to get her pilot’s license, and the more she explains what she is learning, the more I realize that I have no desire to fly an airplane.  Yesterday, she shared just how dangerous it is if a fowl fouls up a flight pattern. Or if she enters an airspace designed for bigger planes.  Or if a pre-flight inspection misses a minor detail (like the propellers hides a plastic cover over a vent).  And let’s face it, if you fly, you want every little detail taken care of by your flight crew.

There seems to be an epidemic of this missing.

At Burger King in Louisburg, Kansas, last month, only one man had shown up for work.  He took the orders, made the food and collected the money.  People don’t feel like coming to work?  Apparently, no big deal.  Then, when I was clothes shopping in a department store in Kansas City, two elderly ladies were running around, trying to place things where they belong.  I struck up a conversation with the manager. When she asked a couple of the younger workers why they didn’t put things in the right place, she was told, “I just don’t feel like it.”


Every employer needs a detail person, the one who looks at the big picture and calculates what needs to be done.  No one is better at that than God.  When you read the Bible, take notice of the exact dimensions God gave Moses to build the Tabernacle, of the specifics he gave Noah to construct the Ark, of the rules for sacrifices and obedience expected of the Israelites. Then think of the ways our bodies are designed and the structure of the planets.  God is definitely involved in the details.

And we should be too.  Let’s purpose this week to see the trees instead of the forest: an extra tip to the weary waitress; an offer to help the customer shopping in the wheel chair; a “thank you” to the trash collector; an email of appreciation to the frazzled teacher; an “I love you” to our spouse; a prayer offered…just because.

In so doing, you will be putting God in the details…right where He belongs.

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