From The Rev, Jan. 7, 2015

Dear Friends,
As I have listened to the news regarding the tragedy of AirAsia Flight 8501 over the past couple of weeks, I have heard many experts in the field of aviation share their thoughts and opinions on what may have caused the plane to go down. One gentleman who I was glad to see interviewed was Chesley Sullinberger, better known as “Captain Sully.”

I’m sure you remember the story. Back in January of 2009, Captain Sully, due to his excellent flying skills, landed the airplane he was piloting in the Hudson Bay. Apparently a flock of geese shut down both engines of the plane. All 155 passengers made it out safely.

Seeing Captain Sulley interviewed, and remembering this remarkable event, I reflected on some of the life lessons we can learn, especially as we begin a new year:

First, there is no way to engineer life so that nothing bad happens. Sometimes geese fly into your engine. Things will not always go your way. Folks are going to disappoint you and tragedy will happen. Geese happens.

Second, a strong person calmly does their best to navigate the situation to safe waters. Was Captain Sully a bad pilot? Certainly not! Too often we think that if we have problems, there is something wrong with us. Problems are a part of life. They are opportunities waiting to happen. The very definition of excellence has to do with what we do when bad things happen.

And third, understand that the point of life is the journey, not the destination. I remember some of the survivors being interviewed, and guess what? Not one of them complained because they didn’t reach their destination. They were just thankful to be alive.

My friends, we, too, are on a journey together and the trip is what’s important in life. Life is not about achievement, success, and getting everything you want. It’s about the path.

May you be blessed on all the paths you take in this new year.

You are loved,