Monday, April 6, 2009


This weekend, my church held its semi-annual General Conference. On Saturday night, one of our leaders, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, himself a retired pilot, told a story about an airplane accident some years ago in the Everglades near Miami, FL. Then plane crashed despite fully functioning engines, wings, and landing gear. It was not out of fuel. The pilot and co-pilot were both alive and well. In short, nothing was wrong with the plane that kept it from being able to take off, fly, or land properly.

So what went wrong? A single green bulb had burned out: the one that signaled that the nose landing gear was down. Because the pilot did not see that bulb burning, he put the plane into a holding pattern while he investigated the bulb. He did not have anyone check to find out that the gear was down (which it was). He became so obsessed with the bulb that when someone noticed they were speeding toward the ground, it was too late to pull up. He let his focus get off of the important task of landing because he was obsessed with something that, in the end, was unimportant and even incorrect.

How often do we do that in life? We obsess over a television series, the next American Idol precedings, Spider Solitaire, EA Sports next new game,blogs (oops), or whatever else. Meanwhile, important things like spending time with family, accomplishing work, exercise, prayer and scripture study, and so much else in life goes by the way side. I am as guilty as the next person of letting little things distract me from what truly matters. I just appreciated the reminder to reconsider my focus and to make sure I find balance, even with the good things of life, so I don't crash and burn.

-- Robert


Darlene said...

I enjoyed hearing this story from Gary. I think it so applies to my life as well.

Robert said...

I loved that talk. I didn't get into the part where he talked about what Nehemiah accomplished by not letting people distract or harm his efforts (or him). Great stories throughout this talk.