Brace for Impact

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Last week US Airways Flight 1549 left La Guardia Airport bound for Charlotte, North Carolina with passengers expecting a routine journey. They were soon to realize the importance of having a pilot prepared to face a crisis in the skies.

Seconds after takeoff, Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger noticed a flock of geese “in a perfect line formation” headed toward the plane. In the next instant when both engines failed, the Captain drew on all he knew from his training and executed a textbook perfect leadership strategy.

He surveyed the situation.
He recalled his training.
He called on his crew.
He warned the passengers, “Brace for impact.”
He executed a perfect water landing.
He ensured the safety of his passengers and crew.
He exited the plane.

This deft pilot with over 40 years of flying experience maneuvered the plane to safety with such skill and calm that he is now proclaimed a hero.

Sully had spent his career training, studying, and practicing his craft so that when faced with a potential catastrophe, he could react decisively and with confidence. Accomplished pilots like Sully know that you don’t wait till you’re in a crisis to figure out how to get out of a crisis. Sully was prepared.

We would do well to learn from Captain Sullenberger about how to face our own turbulent times. When we are under fire, when we are facing danger, when we our schedule is thrown off course, when we face turbulent times, when we veer off course, when we are attacked…how do we respond? How do we brace for impact?

Like Sully, we need to study and train and practice. We need to be prepared.

We need to study God’s word to learn how he can help us in times of trouble.

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

We need to train with other Christians, our crew, so that we’ll have a support system.

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals (including the Lord’s Supper), and to prayer. Acts 2:42

We need to practice our faith daily so that we can act decisively and with consideration of others.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10

Then we too can exit the potential crisis with confidence of a job well done.

Yes, we too must know how to “brace for impact.”


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