Many years ago, Tom Hanks starred in the movie Apollo 13. I am sure many of you have seen it. I own the movie and have watched it several times myself. It is an exciting, true story of three astronauts, including Jim Lovell, who was the commander of the Apollo 13 space mission. As you recall, they were on the second USA voyage to land on the moon when the space craft malfunctioned and was disabled. Through a series of unexpected circumstances, the three astronauts onboard almost lost their lives. The space craft was disabled for many hours and emergency measures had to be taken to repair it enough for the astronauts to return home safely.
There was one scene in the movie that was very memorable for me. Jim Lovell (played by Tom Hanks) is being asked about some of the dangers a pilot can face. He relates the story of how one night he was trying to land his jet on an aircraft carrier after a combat mission and he was lost. Due to the darkness of the night and poor visibility, he could hardly see how to land the plane. It was an extremely dangerous situation. To make matters worse, as he was trying to read his instrument panel, all of the interior cockpit lights suddenly went out and it was completely dark. He first thought his only option was to “ditch” his plane and eject. Then he noticed a long green stream in the ocean which looked like a landing strip. He realized that the aircraft carrier he was searching for was stirring up green algae in the ocean which created a perfect path for him to follow until he could spot the aircraft carrier and land safely. Then he made a classic statement, “You never know what events are going to transpire to get you home.” Who would have ever thought that the ship stirring up green algae in the ocean could have saved a pilot’s life? Yet, that was the very thing that he was able to see and follow until he landed safely on the carrier.
I have never forgotten that scene in the movie because there are so many things that transpire in our life to get us “home” safely. Sometimes we must lose all our money in order to wake up to the reality that money is not the most important thing in life. Sometimes we must lose a relationship with someone to recognize that we need to change our behavior. Sometimes we need to lose our health to wake up to the fact that we need to eat better and exercise more regularly. There are many kinds of events that take place to wake us up. Some of them are helpful and some of them are difficult, but all of them are meant to get us home safely.
The older I get, the more I see that nothing that takes place in life is an accident. We live in a world that is designed in such a way that we can learn lessons from all the events that transpire in our life. And sometimes we are able to look back in retrospect and see that things that did not seem significant in the moment were actually very important events. They were designed to help get us home safely.
I am a big believer in providence. In case you are not familiar with that word, it simply means that everything happens for a purpose. There are no mistakes. Even the difficult times that we go through are meant to help us and teach us. There is an old saying that when things are good, they really are not as good as you think they are and that when things are bad, they are really not as bad as you may think they are. That is because of providence. Everything is happening for a time and a purpose and is right on schedule. You can rest assured and trust fully in the fact that is the case, whether you recognize it as reality or not.
This week take a closer look at the things that have happened to you in your life and the ones that are happening right now. It may be that you are going through a difficult season, or things may be wonderful. In any case, you are on your way home. That is true for all of us. A time is coming when we will depart this life and move on to the next. My friend Aubrey says, “This is just the dress rehearsal. The real show is yet to begin!”
Keep your eyes open for the green algae trail this week to see where some of the events of life may be leading you. It is a good idea to be aware of the circumstances of life because they are meant to be your friend to give you guidance; to help you land safely. I trust that will be the case for you, as you continue your journey, not only for this week, but in the years ahead as well, until you arrive safely all the way home.
Tip: You never know what events are going to transpire to get you home!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm