The experiences of the ill-fated aircraft bring some life lessons for the rest of us.
Published on: 04-05-2019
Would you fly on a Boeing 737 Max 8 today? Given the two recent deadly 737 Max 8 crashes in a span of five months (Lion Air last fall and Ethiopian Airlines this month) and the subsequent global grounding of all of Boeing’s 737 Max fleet, you can understand why passengers are rethinking their travel plans — to the point that Southwest Airlines, which only flies Boeing 737s, reported declining ticket sales over the past few weeks.
(To answer my own question — sure, I’d fly a 737 Max 8 today. Because there isn’t a 737 pilot alive who isn’t now thoroughly updated and practiced on the precise safety measures to be taken should the plane “go erratic” again. In fact, this is probably the safest time ever to be a passenger on one of those 737 Max planes. But that’s just me.)
Naturally, the immense human tragedy of 346 deaths from these two crashes rightfully overshadows all the chatter about the aircraft’s future. But could it be that in the unfolding story of the ill-fated 737 Max 8 there are life lessons for the rest of us?
Life Lesson #1 — One very small malfunction is still a very big deal. The faulty sensor, which mistakenly reported the planes were climbing into stall speed (when in fact they weren’t) and thus automatically sought to correct the stall by repeatedly pushing the aircraft nose downward, is a tiny piece of technology. But how devastating its misguided response! One “tiny” sin, harbored in a single angelic heart, crashed an entire universe into “civil war” (see Ezekiel 28:15-17). The eventual death toll is beyond emotional calculation! Even so, one “tiny” personal sin (one habit, one indulgence unresisted) can bring down an entire life and lifetime. We all know the sad truth. Personally.
Life Lesson #2 — Sometimes the creator has to ground his creation while a remedy is sought. Boeing had no choice, given the global outcry against its 737 Max 8 aircraft. Everybody on the planet — laymen and specialists alike — could tell something was dreadfully wrong with its newly released 737 Max model. So, until the plane’s maker designs a “fix” for the problem, the aircraft meant to spend its days and nights in the heavens is grounded. Just like the human race these days.
It was grounded soon after the Garden of Eden, because the rebel angel with the fallen heart tricked the humans into joining his civil war against the Throne. The Creator had no choice but to ground the fledgling race. Grounded until an emergency plan (shaped in eternity past—Revelation 13:8) could save the ill-fated planet. “ ‘Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!’ ” (John 1:29, NIV). Only then would they ever fly again.
Life Lesson #3 — How quickly life’s fortunes and future can change! Not just for the 346 victims of the two crashes, but for every family member — spouse, parent, child, friend, loved one — and the web of lives that spread away from this disaster. As the result of one split and tragic second, life will never, can never be the same again. Why, even for a proud and mighty corporation that controls much of the airspace above our planet, for Boeing how the fortunes have instantly altered — “riding high in April, shot down in May” as the old song crooned.
It’s a somber life lesson for our civilization, caught in the frenzied mix of life and work and play and pleasure and the unceasing quest to accumulate more and more when we need less and less. Crazy sad, really. Because just when we think Earth, at last, has its act together, what does the Bible predict? “Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, ‘Peace and safety,’ destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not [Greek double negative, “no not”] escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3, NIV).
Wasn’t that Jesus’ sobering point? As the days of Noah, so the end of the world will be: people “eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” until the very last day when the heavens and earth exploded with water “and took them all away” (Matthew 24:36-39, NIV). And only a handful saved? God help us!
But that’s good news. He promises: ”For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13, NIV). Wow! Divine help for every life lesson. Divine Helper for every day and night until, grounded no longer, we will fly with Him forever and ever. Amen.