Don’t forget to fly

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I read this sad story once that made me think quite a bit about how the little things in life can sometimes really distract us from the true meaningful things in life.

“On paper, Michael Hillis was a sound enough pilot. When things went wrong, though, the 29-year-old captain tensed up. For that reason, Hillis had been asked to leave Cincinnati-based Comair, but he caught on quickly with American Eagle, and was at the controls of Flight 3379 as it descended toward the airport in Raleigh, N.C. At exactly 30 seconds after 6:33 p.m., two minutes and 4 miles from the airport, a panel light in the cockpit lit up. Hillis and his copilot, Matthew Sailor, had been trained to recognize the light as a signal that an engine had quit. Quickly, they set about determining which one. In doing so, however, they forgot about flying the plane. At 1,400 feet, the Jetstream 32 began to drop fast. Hillis and Sailor reacted immediately. It was too late. The plane smashed into the woods, and 15 of the 20 people aboard died, including Hillis and Sailor. Investigators pawing through the rubble came to a surprising conclusion: Neither of the plane’s engines had failed at all. Most likely, the light was faulty. “

(U.S. News & World Report, June 26, 1995, p. 29)

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What a powerful lesson we find in this story.

Sometimes in life the “warning lights come on” signalling to us that something is perhaps terribly wrong and that we need to pay attention immediately.

But as we focus on these “problematic moments” in life we often end up forgetting that there is far more to our life than what we’re currently focusing on, only to later on regret wasting so much time on mundane and trivial matters that weren’t that “life-threatening” after all.

The sad thing is, like in our story, many people end up crashing due to much smaller reasons than they initially anticipated.

Jesus encouraged people to bring their cares and worries to him as He understood the trap and danger of getting caught in the trap of “yesterday” and “tomorrow.”

The so called “should haves,” “if onlys,” and “what ifs.”

Yet so many of us end up either believing the warning lights aren’t that bad or we make them worse than they are.  Either way, many wait till a crash becomes almost inevitable before doing something about it.

So pay attention to your life and the warning lights that light up every so often, but always consult the Engineer so you don’t end up worrying over a little light while forgetting to fly.

May light and peace fill your life.