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The Required Runway
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Photo: Afonso Lima
The wrong runway. How could that happen? Did the pilots talk together about the fact that, in the pre-dawn, the runway was not lighted? Was there any passenger on board, accustomed to the pre-flight routine at the small Lexington Blue Grass Airport in Kentucky, who wondered if the plane made the right turns? Did anybody recognize something was different, but assumed everything would be all right?

On August 27, 2006, when ComAir Flight 5191 crashed taking off for Atlanta, I also flew on Delta to Atlanta. The flight attendants on my flight were having a hard time believing that a jet could take the wrong runway. Because the plane tried to take off from the shorter 3,500-foot runway instead of the required 7,003-foot main runway, 49 people were killed. Only one crew member survived. The wrong runway. They missed the main runway.

Roads Make a Difference

How easy it is for people to say there are many ways to Heaven, or we’re all going to the same place, we’re just on different routes. Have you heard someone say, “It really doesn’t matter what road you’re on, as long as you’re going in the right direction?” Roads make a difference in reaching the final destination. Evidently, which runway to take is a life and death decision. They’re not all the same. There is a reason truth is truth. There is a reason truth is absolute. In Lexington, the right runway was a requirement.

Jesus makes it clear- “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

“Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).

And Paul declares, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16).

If I choose Jesus Christ instead of man-made systems, I’m on the right runway. If I accept that I am a sinner, and that Jesus’righteousness covers my confessed and forsaken sins, I’m on the right runway. If I love Jesus so much for saving me, and in my heart I want to keep His commandments and do His will (John 14:15), I’m on the right runway. If I surrender my selfish desires and say to Jesus, “Not my will but Yours be done in my life,” I’m on the right runway.

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By Gordon Retzer. Portion used with permission from the Southern Tidings, November, 2006. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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