“Have It Your Way”
Remember that? The old Burger King slogan that gave us the mantra that LIFE IS ALL ABOUT YOU. And soon, all the fast food chains followed suit, adding more and different and better and new to cater to our every need. Burgers and Fries became wraps and salads. Domino’s dropped “Pizza” from their name because they now have so many other choices on their menu. (Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the pizza part of their name the only draw?). And don’t forget Carl’s Junior… the half pound burger on a homemade bun that when eaten, turns you into a supermodel in a bikini. Because guess what?
LIFE IS ALL ABOUT YOU.
Two days after it happened, the world heard the gruesome truth. When the pilot left to use the restroom, the co-pilot locked the cock pit door. They determined that it was at that point that the plane was pointed down toward a purposeful crash. The co-pilot, apparently suffering from depression, decided to end his life. Tragically, one hundred and forty nine people who didn’t make that decision went with him.
Looking at the debris, I wanted to get a sense of the people who were killed in such an immediate and dramatic way. There was Maria, a beautiful German opera star, traveling with her husband and young child. Sonja and Stefanie, two high school teachers traveling with their students on a foreign exchange program. Paul, a twenty eight year old graduate student, whose mother referred to him as “her world”. Yvonne and Emily, a mother and daughter from the US on a once in a lifetime trip to Europe. The list went on, and as I read it, I thought of the hundreds of people attached to these lives, getting the devastating news and trying to come to grips with such an instantaneous and shocking loss.
The wreckage on the French Alps displayed the universal truth that Life is NOT just about you. We get that message in the Bible too.
And though most of us (God willing) will never get a glimpse of this truth in such a dramatic way, let it remind us that we all touch other lives- for better or for worse- every single day. And we should always be willing to take that journey to let God use what’s in us in a life giving, rather than life taking, way.
Sadly, this is a journey a depressed co pilot failed to take.
The perspective he left us with is how we can honor the lives he took with him.