Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Miracle of Flight 1549 or for some, an opportunity to wallow at the trough of victimization

I’m sure we have all heard of the miraculous nature of the ditching of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in New York. Many things had to go right. The perfect pilot was in place; a Texan by birth, a crop duster at age 15 (anyone in agricultural areas knows the potential danger a crop duster faces on a daily basis) and an Air Force pilot who flew fighters in Viet Nam. Yes, Chesley Sullenberger was by God’s sovereign choice the right man at the right place at the right time. From all accounts, the rest of the crew also exhibited exemplary behavior and expertise.

More miracles: the river had to be clear of tugs and boats. People saw the plane struggling, 911 knew of the problem before the plane ditched in the river. The tug boats were manned by people who made the proper decisions at precisely the right time. The rescue boats and tugs were on the scene within minutes. What a blessing for all involved.

U.S. Airways gave each passenger $5,000 for lost luggage and other incidental costs due to the ditching. The passengers were also upgraded to the highest customer status for one year. They had an opportunity to fly to Europe at highly reduced rates. By all accounts, U.S. Air and all the other people involved acted in a truly all around professional manner. On all fronts, a high level of expertise and sensitivity was displayed.

Yet, some of the passengers are complaining. They feel they have not been compensated enough. “What about my stress?” “I flew last week” one said “and the tension and stress were present.” Yes, I think tension and stress would be present but get over it. Why in America today do we think any stress or tension we experience should be compensated for by someone else?

We have become a nation of whining, money grubbing victims who at the drop of a hat wallow up to the trough of “woe is me” and now you must really pay. Yes, owe me something (preferably a lot of money) for my so-called suffering.

Listen people, on take off, U.S. Air could do nothing about the geese in the air at precisely the right time and right altitude! The response to this encounter by all accounts was superb to the last detail. People were compensated for their inconvenience and given future privileges and benefits and yet they complain.

Listen up you whiners, YOU’RE ALIVE! Yes, you are alive; isn’t that reward enough? Because the actions of everyone involved, you are alive when in most cases you should have been dead. You ungrateful louts! Do you value your life so little that the preservation of your life was not reward enough? How sad.

I guess if we think about it, in America we do not value life very much whether it is the unborn, the aged, the young, the deformed, the developmentally disabled, or even our own! Oh America, how bankrupt we have become. The passengers of Flight 1549 should shout for joy; they should dance in exhilaration; they are alive! We should dance with them.

It is easy for me to point my finger at the passengers of Flight 1549 but how would I have reacted? Do we value the every day God sovereign, protecting love that He shows to us? In reality, many times we are unaware of that from which He has saved us? (Were we spared an accident, a fall, a fire, a lost child, etc?) I must be grateful for all things.

God bless the aircraft crew and all the boat operators and all the unnoticed, unrecognized people who worked together to make the survival of all 155 passengers and crew possible.

Forgive us Lord, for our ungrateful whining.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Amen.


Anonymous said...

Amen dear brother.


Once again you have nailed it. I just finished listening to the cockpit recording that took place between Captain Sully and the control tower. He displayed the calmest assurance as he face death in the face. Praise God for such trained men.

What a gracious God we serve. Lord deliver us from a whining, self-serving, ego-centric attitude. Amen.

Anonymous said...

Amen to the problem of American whining in this country. Everyone feels they are "owed" and the feelings of entitlement are rampant.

Thank you for addressing this.