What can’t you live without?
I’ve never faced a life-or-death situation like the 300 or so people aboard an Emirates flight this week from India.
Their flight made a spectacular crash-landing on to the tarmac at Dubai International Airport. While the cause remains unclear, Flight EK521’s life-or-death situation did clearly reveal something.
Footage taken by a passenger moments after the crash-landing shows many people trying to get their carry-on luggage.
Cabin crew yell “Jump! Jump! Jump!” to hurry passengers on to the escape slide (because, you know, the plane might actually blow up).
But plenty of passengers delay their escape — to grab their stuff. Click here to watch the EK521 escape.
I know what I would do
Thankfully, all of EK521’s passengers and crew escaped safely. But when I first saw the mobile-phone video of passengers ignoring the crew’s cries of “leave your bags behind”, I got a bit high and mighty.
What are they doing? How could anyone worry about stuff when their own life — and those around them (including, perhaps, family or friends) — is under imminent threat of death?
If that was me, I would be ignoring my overhead baggage, snatching up my family, heading to the escape slide, and thanking God for a miraculous escape…
… Or, would I?
Apart from reminding me about how I can quickly leap to judging others — a terrible habit I’m asking God to help me defeat — the life-or-death situation aboard EK521 stirred something else in me.
What am I unable to live without?
Apparently, some people on EK521 couldn’t live without their hand luggage. I know they would have been panicking and probably weren’t thinking straight. Understandable. But I imagine that being in a life-or-death situation, like they were in, might well reveal what it is that I hold on to the most.
Leave it all behind
I don’t know if you felt this way but seeing how EK521 passengers reacted challenged me to take stock of my own life.
What do I not want to lose? What is most valuable to me? What can’t I live without — even if holding on to it might mean my death?
Before some life-or-death situation forces me to respond, I should know the answer to those questions. Why? Because Jesus stated that anyone who wants to follow Him must give up everything (Luke 14:25-34).
I’m a Christian so, well, that means I want to follow Jesus wherever he leads. Even when it sounds as difficult and kinda impossible as giving up everything else.
But Jesus calls for such extreme measures, as an indication of what it is we are living for.
Jesus was so convinced of the priority for us to all take hold of the new life he offers, he went so far as to tell us to let go of everything else.
Don’t hold on to all that other stuff, as if your life depended upon it.
Instead, Jesus reveals how true life depends upon depending upon him (John 3:16-36).
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