Mark Twain said that if you dissect a joke, you will kill it, just as you must kill a frog before dissecting it. Of course there’s some truth to this. There are many who say the same thing about faith and miracles. They are in love with the idea of believing, with the ineffable magic of it, and don’t think any of it should be examined too closely.
But true believe is not like frogs and jokes at all. We must examine what we believe. Do we believe in something that’s really true? Or are we afraid to find out?
~ERIC METAXAS, author of Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life
Ric Elias had a front-row seat on Flight 1549, the plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River in New York in January 2009. What went through his mind as the doomed plane went down?
How do you consider the following tale?
Imagine a big explosion as you climb through 3,000 ft. Imagine a plane full of smoke.Imagine an engine going clack, clack, clack. It sounds scary. Well, I had a unique seat that day. I was sitting in 1D. I was the only one who could talk to the flight attendants.
So I looked at them right away, and they said, “No problem. We probably hit some birds.” The pilot had already turned the plane around, and we weren’t that far. You could see Manhattan.
Two minutes later, three things happened at the same time. The pilot lines up the plane with the Hudson River. That’s usually not the route. He turns off the engines. Now, imagine being in a plane with no sound. And then he says three words. The most unemotional three words I’ve ever heard. He says, “Brace for impact.” I didn’t have to talk to the flight attendant anymore. I could see in her eyes, it was terror. Life was over.
Three things he learned about himself that day
One. I learned that it all changes in an instant. We have this bucket list, we have these things we want to do in life, and I thought about all the people I wanted to reach out to that I didn’t, all the fences I wanted to mend, all the experiences I wanted to have and I never did.
Second. I really feel one real regret.I’ve lived a good life. In my own humanity and mistakes, I’ve tried to get better at everything I tried. But in my humanity, I also allow my ego to get in. And I regretted the time I wasted on things that did not matter with people that matter.
Third. I don’t want this thing to break in 20 pieces like you’ve seen in those documentaries. And as we’re coming down,I had a sense of, wow, dying is not scary. It’s almost like we’ve been preparing for it our whole lives. But it was very sad. I didn’t want to go; I love my life. And that sadness really framed in one thought, which is, I only wish for one thing. I only wish I could see my kids grow up.