In a day when computers can do in nanoseconds what once took months to accomplish, when the world’s great distances have shrunk tremendously due to rapid transportation and satellite technology, our sense of accomplishment is occasionally jolted to reality when the unexpected takes place. We hardly need to remind ourselves that man and his machines often fail, and fail tragically. When we consider the explosion of TWA Flight 800 over the Atlantic, the crash of a Valujet plane into the Florida Everglades, the Challenger disaster and Amtrak’s multitude of derailments, we are brought to this solemn conclusion: there are no guarantees!
One Thursday morning in July, 1996, at a small airport, a North American T-6, a vintage “warbird” aircraft, arrived. Beautifully restored and painted bright yellow, the two-seat,radial -engine aircraft was an eye catcher. People would stop admire it, visit the little table se up with pins and tee shirts proclaiming the fame of the T-6. Some even bought tickets to fly in it the next afternoon. When Friday arrived, the pilot was out to his “baby” at noon; checking the oil, inspecting the hoses, fittings and tires, and making sure that his plane was ready to fly. His first passenger that afternoon was a young lady who was looking forward to the fun of her first flight in a World War II training aircraft. When they climbed in she felt a thrill of excitement to think that the moment had finally arrived! As they taxied out to the runway, she could hear the surging roar of the engine as the pilot worked the controls. They stopped short of the runway for the pilot to commence his run-up check. He increased the RPM; the oil pressure appeared normal; the magnetos checked okay. He pushed the throttle forward for a full power check. Suddenly, without any warning the plane began to vibrate wildly. The pilot immediately throttled back and stopped fuel supply to the engine. As the doublebeaded chrome propeller came to a complete stop, they both stared in mute horror. Twenty-two inches of one propeller blade was completely gone! Had that occurred just after take-off, the plane would have gone down! One tiny crack in the blade had escaped detection, and that blade crack had caused the blade to snap off. It was very nearly their undoing.
And what of you, friend? God’s Word plainly declares that our life “is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away,” gone forever (James 4:14). Did it ever cross your mind that, though at present everything seems fine in your life, around the next bend the unexpected may wait? Are you prepared? Proverbs 27:1 warns, “Boast not thyself of tomorrow for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.” The only true antidote for that unexpected moment is to be absolutely sure you are ready. The Lord Jesus came to earth to die for sins once. He has gone back to heaven to prepare a place for those who trust Him as Savior. But the question is, are you prepared to be there with Him? Trust the Lord Jesus today, for “God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:17).