Monday, February 09, 2009

5 minutes

By now, you've heard the story (probably many times) about US Airways flight 1549 landing in the Hudson River of New York City. Stunning in that no one was hurt or killed, much of the credit has been given you Captain "Sully" Sullenberger. A career pilot and veteran of the Air Force, I watched "60 Minutes" interview him last night and was amazed at his demeanor. It should be no surprise he's from Texas. Nor that his training is what made a world of difference. What struck me is his statement "My whole life was a preparation for this moment." Wow. Talk about poignancy (Click it below to see the interview. If Katie Couric weren't doing the interview, it would be even better!). The recognition that a lifetime of preparation came down to less than 5 minutes of work.

5 minutes.

I spend that long brushing my teeth.

I've spent that long assembling this little note.

I guess the trick is you never know when those 5 minutes are coming.

By all accounts, the early stages of the flight were completely normal - nothing exceptional, nothing unusual. And yet less than 3 minutes into the flight, things had gone from normal to catastrophic. Amazing how fast that happens, isn't it? Less than 3 minutes later, they were in the Hudson River - soggy but largely unharmed. Shocking, isn't it? A lifetime of passion for 5 minutes of sheer terror. Hmmmmmmmm. . . perhaps there's a sermon series in this somewhere.

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