My sincerest, heartfelt and deepest condolences to the families of those killed in the Airbus A320 Germanwings, including, of course, the family of Andreas Lubitz. After many analyses of protocols and mechanisms that could lead to this sad situation of “self-kidnapping” by the copilot, surely in near future all deemed changes will be done to prevent this from happening again.
As one reviews with astonishment the news about what happened during the last 8 minutes before the plane crashed, taking the lives of singers, commercial, adolescents, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, babies, sons, daughters, grandchildren, grandmothers… I am assaulted with questions from the pastoral point of view. What, moral, spiritual leadership protocols have failed? With what consequences? What can we learn from this horrible misfortune? Can we extrapolate anything to other areas of everyday life?
I think so we can learn and extrapolate conclusions that may astound us. The truth is that Andreas Lubitz was the copilot, the second in command in grade and rank. For a few minutes he was entrusted with the control of the aircraft and was the last responsible of 150 lives. Sufficient to demonstrate that the decisions you make, leaving the rest of the team outside, can have catastrophic consequences.
I could not avoid drawing a parallel with a similar uprising also occurred in heaven, thousands of years ago. The second in command, wanted to usurp the place of the Captain (Isaiah 14:13-14). As Andreas did not let the captain of the aircraft enter, Lucifer also did not let the Captain of the Universe enter in his heart. The Bible tells us that “war broke out in heaven” (Revelation 12:7). On that occasion, the Captain managed to take back control of Creation, but the copilot dragged 1/3 of the crew with him (Revelation 12:4) in his free fall (Revelation 12:9).
Passengers flying Germanwings were unaware of the situation until the last moment, likewise the passengers on this planet are unaware of the swoop until it’s too late (Matthew 24:30). The difference between the misfortune of flight 4U9525 Germanwings and the drama that is lasting thousands of years in this world is that in the first case, the victims had no choice, but in the second remains an open emergency exit for anyone who wants it (John 3:16).
This misfortune made me think even more in the responsibility of power, control, decision-making capacity and how it affects others. A wrong decision could be an accident, but even in case of accident, the aircraft could have been saved. It had to be a strong, repeated decision, blocking out the captain and manipulating the controls of the airplane intentionally. Just thinking about it gets goosebumps. The result … fatal.
As a pastor, departmental director, father, husband, I wonder, am I making decisions on my own or without thinking of those who will be affected? Are we reaffirming ourselves in the wrong way, deaf to the calls of the Captain at the door, to the calls from the control tower, to the alarms that warn of danger, to the cries of the victims of our decisions? Am I dragging my family, church, my environment with me? Are we aware that the decisions we make always, ALWAYS, affect those who accompany us on the journey of life?
If you realize that you’re making tough decisions, do not let out your team, your Pilot, your wife, your church elder… Never lock yourself in the cockpit on your own. You will never crash alone, there is always someone flying with you, those you love the most and least want to hurt. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” (James 1:5). Life is a constant flight and you’re the copilot. Life will always end well if you let the Great Pilot take control of your life.
Download the PDF file for this article.