Remember, all of us will be landing shortly. My new book is about my spiritual musings in light of our pending physical death. It’s available on Amazon or you can get a signed copy from me for only $10 (plus $2 postage). Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What I use as a metaphor was a reality to Ric Elias when Flight 1549 crash-landed in the Hudson River. He shared the harrowing event in his TED Talk “3 Things I Learned while My Plane Crashed”:
Imagine a big explosion as you climb through 3,000 ft. Imagine a plane full of smoke. Imagine an engine going clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack, clack. … 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.”
Now I want to share with you three things I learned about myself that day. 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. …
The second thing I learned that day … I regretted the time I wasted on things that did not matter with people that matter. And I thought about my relationship with my wife, with my friends, with people. And after, as I reflected on that, I decided to eliminate negative energy from my life. … I no longer try to be right; I choose to be happy.
The third thing I learned … 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. … Above all, above all, the only goal I have in life is to be a good dad.
What lessons would you have taken away from Flight 1549? What lessons do you take away from this reminder that life is short and death is certain?
Me? I’m leaning forward in my seat, eager for what’s next. I’m keeping my eyes and mind and heart open. I still have character to develop, dreams to pursue, mysteries to ponder, relationships to nurture, adventures to share, sorrows to endure, wine to bottle, dances to learn and books to write.
This book—We Will Be Landing Shortly—is done. I’ll leave it in the seat pocket for curious and unsuspecting travelers.
Vaya con Dios.