A friend of mine sent me a video today. It was entitled, In My Seat–A Pilot’s Story. I had never seen it before, nor had I ever heard the story. In fact, the scenario retold in the short film had never even occurred to me as a possibility. It just goes to show that we seldom think of everything. This is particularly true when incidents don’t directly involve us.
The account is told by Officer Steve Scheibner, an American Airlines pilot. It’s his story. It happened on September 10 and 11, 2001. He was expecting to pilot Flight Eleven on 9-11. The events that took place seem like drastic coincidences, and maybe they are. Then again, maybe they’re not. Were they part of God’s overall plan? I’m not even going to venture a guess. His testimony of the events and of his life’s goal (before and after those events) are inspiring and are important enough that they should be told and retold.
A Brief Moment
I’ll leave it to you to watch the short, fifteen-minute video (which I strongly encourage you to do). Some stories affect our lives for a brief moment. This is one that will last a lifetime and will possibly affect many other lifetimes as well.
Scheibner came out of this experience as one who now lives his life with a sense of urgency. The events of 9-11 didn’t change who he was, but it changed how he approached what he was all about. Every one of us should live with such urgency.
I can vividly remember, as a young Christian, hearing a preacher quote the Apostle Paul. I don’t know why this particular verse stood out that day and has stuck with me so strongly throughout the years. The quote was from the old King James Bible. He looked at us (the congregation) and very fixedly pronounced, “Now is the accepted time… Now is the day of salvation.” (1 Corinthians 6:2)
“Now Is The Accepted Time”
For whatever reason—probably the influence of God’s Holy Spirit—that verse became the impetus for the rest of my life. Not only did I never forget that moment, it often comes rushing back to me. “NOW is the accepted time.” Not tomorrow. Not next week. God has something for you right now. Don’t put it off.
Frankly, I can procrastinate with the best of them. Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow? Right? Seems like a motto by which many of us would prefer to live.
Fortunately for us, God doesn’t live by that motto. Jesus came in the “fulness of time.” When everything was prepared and ready, he made his appearance in the form of a man. He taught us, preached the Good News, and died as a sacrifice for our sins. (Galatians 4:4-7) He didn’t leave it for another day (as, undoubtedly, I would have done).
Is there an urgency about your life? Steve Scheibner knows that he’s “living on borrowed time.” We are too, except we don’t know it yet.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and currently resides in Aldie, VA.]