Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Psalm 25:4-5
Last week I turned on the television to learn that an airplane had crashed into the Hudson River. I was unaware of any details as boats surrounded the plane obscuring it from view. At that time I didn’t know if the plane was still intact and if anyone onboard survived. I expected the worst and instead I learned of what would later come to be known as the “Miracle on the Hudson”.
I was amazed and thankful as the details were revealed. First off, it was miraculous that no one was killed in the crash, either on the plane or in the river. In a crowded metropolitan area like New York, so much could go wrong, but it didn’t. It was also amazing at the number of people who were on the scene almost immediately ready to help people they didn’t even know.
Everything was put into place years before anyone got on board that plane. First off, the pilot was experienced. During his career he studied safety issues and knew what to do in case of an emergency. When both engines were disabled he had to make the right decision quickly. Recordings from the plane revealed how calm he was, probably a result from years of training. It was said that from now on, this incident would be used to train other pilots in similar circumstances.
Also on board was an experienced crew who got the passengers ready for the crash. Their actions saved the passengers from being seriously injured or killed on impact. After the crash they went to work opening all the doors and getting the passengers off of the plane in an orderly manner. Their professionalism helped keep the passengers calm.
What a different outcome from another plane crash I read about. That plane also crashed in a river but with a far different outcome. Errors by the pilot before the flight took off caused the plane to crash into a bridge before it wound up in the river. It cost the pilot not only his life, but most of the people on the plane and some on the bridge. His disregard for safety and FAA protocol proved deadly and resulted in lasting repercussions. It not only left lasting scars on the victims, but emotional scars as well for their families.
While we may never pilot a plane that affects the lives of others, we pilot our lives and have a lasting impact on people. It is like a ripple effect that reaches out to people we may never know personally. The question is, are we ready for the challenge? How well have we prepared ourselves for the task before us?
First, let’s take a look at our training. The pilot on that miracle flight had hours and hours of training both in and out of aircraft. Some of that training was learning rules that would later prove helpful. In our lives as Christians, we are given rules from God that is meant to help us in life, not to hamper our lives. Exodus 24:12 says, “And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them”. The Ten Commandments were given to man not for the mere sake of rules, but to give us guidelines as to the way to live our lives.
God wants the best for our lives. Jesus had the following to say in John 10:10-11, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep”.
Just like a sheep needs to stay close to the shepherd for protection, so we need to stay close to the Great Shepherd. Also, like sheep, where one goes usually the rest follows. Jesus wants us to stay close to Him for our own protection. Hebrews 2:1 goes on to state, “Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip”.
Just like people around the world were watching the actions of that pilot from the Miracle on the Hudson, so people are watching our actions. Many will also follow our actions either for good or bad. Will you be like the Psalmist who said, “Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth…” (Psalm 86:11)