Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

American Airlines Flight 1002

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We recently traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the Eagles and James Taylor concert. We had enjoyed visiting the area multiple times years ago, and so decided to turn it into a short vacation and visit some sights that we hadn’t seen since our last trip there ten years ago. But looking at the weather forecast cast a pall over the trip. The D.C. area had experienced heavy rain over the preceding week, and rain and t-storms were forecast for our entire stay, including during our outdoor concert at Nationals Park.
Looking at the forecast I could feel my anxiety starting to rise. You see, I very much enjoy the benefits of flying (getting there quickly), but I sure don’t like the turbulence. My wife Tammy tells me that I would pay good money at a theme park for the bumps and drops you experience during turbulence, but I always say that it’s different when you are 35,000 feet in the air. It sure looked like we would be flying into heavy thunderstorms as we headed out east. But, as I have to be taught over and over, things don’t always happen the way you anticipate that they will.
Our trip had “bumps” from the beginning, including having to wait on the runway of our small regional airport to fly to Chicago. Then, in Chicago, our flight was delayed about a half hour due to the storms in Washington D.C. Once we were in the air, I was ready for the turbulence. But the turbulence that we experienced was not what we expected.
About a half hour into our trip, we noticed that a male passenger five rows in front of us was having some medical problems. A message was flashed up on our monitors asking for any medical personnel on board to assist.
For the next hour or so, a wonderful woman comforted and worked on the man in question. As time went on, the airline flight attendants and another volunteer assisted the woman. Eventually the man was moved to the center aisle of the plane.  There, CPR was performed on him for at least fifteen minutes and his heart was shocked multiple times as we made an emergency landing in Pittsburgh.
Although we never heard for certain, our assumption is that the man lost his life that day. Neither he, nor his family, would have ever thought, boarding that flight, that this was to be his last day on earth.
And to the two volunteers who assisted him, and the flight attendants on American Airlines flight 1002, a big “Thank You”. You were brave and heroic under the most difficult of circumstances.
And our flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh to Washington D.C.? Well, it was smooth with absolutely no turbulence. Our flight home five days later in beautiful weather? Well, that one had significant turbulence, even though the weather seemed perfect for flying. What does that teach me? To depend on the Lord to take care of us. I was worried about a few bumps, but a man lost his life. Later, when I expected a bump-free trip home, we experienced a lot of turbulence.
What similar stories do you have that you could share?

Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence – married to my best friend Tammy, a graduate of Covenant Seminary, St. Louis Cardinals fan, formerly a manager at a Fortune 50 organization, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people develop, and to use their strengths to their fullest potential. I am an INTJ on Myers-Briggs, 3 on the Enneagram, my top five Strengthsfinder themes are: Belief, Responsibility, Learner, Harmony, and Achiever, and my two StandOut strength roles are Creator and Equalizer. My favorite book is the Bible, with Romans my favorite book of the Bible, and Colossians 3:23 and 2 Corinthians 5:21 being my favorite verses. Some of my other favorite books are The Holiness of God and Chosen by God by R.C. Sproul, and Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper. I enjoy music in a variety of genres, including modern hymns, Christian hip-hop and classic rock. My book Called to Lead: Living and Leading for Jesus in the Workplace and Tammy’s book Study, Savor and Share Scripture: Becoming What We Behold are available in paperback and Kindle editions on Amazon.

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