By Gbenga Awomodu
This article is dedicated to the lives lost in the October 2005 plane crash in Nigeria. It is exactly five years today since that unfortunate incident.
Late in the night of Saturday October 22, 2005, about an hour before midnight, there was a News Alert on Channels Television. It was reported that a Bellview Flight 210 had lost contact with the control tower of the local wing of the Murtala Mohammed Int’l Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, just three minutes after take-off. The following day, after frantic searches and conflicting reports, the wreckage of the aircraft was found in Lisa Village, near Ifo in Ogun State. All 117 passengers and cabin crew members aboard the plane were confirmed dead!
In the wake of the unfortunate incident, experts suggested possible reasons for the mishap. One of such reasons was a possible strike of lightning against the aircraft. They said that lightning could have shut the system down and caused a break in communication between the plane and the control tower. The ugly incident had its effects on the families and relatives of the deceased, Lisa village and its environs, and our country Nigeria. I’m sure the poor villages have not forgotten in a hurry how their major source of water supply was polluted and the other difficulties it created for them. Various government institutions, non-governmental organisations and private companies lost staff members in the disaster. Family members, relatives and beneficiaries of some of the victims of the plane crash must have really had a big shock.
For every event that occurs, whether good or bad, there is at least a lesson that can be learnt. The circumstances surrounding the plane crash are analogous to our lives as human beings. God, our creator, owns us and He guides and directs our lives. He is the control tower of our lives. We, His creatures, are expected to be in constant touch (communion) with God from the nadir (base) to the zenith (peak) of our lives, and then back to base.
In life, as we set out on our journey into the unknown, we are to commune with our control tower, to know when the route is free of hazards and when to prepare for take-off. When the time comes, God tells us to take-off and so do we. We then get to a stage where the journey becomes smooth and we hardly need to move higher again. We just need to maintain a good contact with God so that He can continue to direct our course in the clouds of life. But then, at this point in time during our adventure, we often tend to get carried away by the fun things of life; activities and issues that make us tune away from God’s frequency. It might be crazy/stupid for a pilot to intentionally break communication with the control tower, but that is what most of us do! We begin to conduct our lives and daily routines as we like and gradually begin to care less about God. As soon as we succeed in life or make our first big break, we ignore Him, and stop communicating with Him like we used to.
While some people stop communicating with God just because of their affluence and comfort induced numbness, others are forced to do so in the face of trials and tribulation. Disasters, whether man-made or natural, may strike our lives and render us deaf to God’s call and instructions. We may also become less sensitive to His love for us. It could be very disastrous if we lose communion with God. Anything can happen. Our lives can crash totally and, unfortunately, many people who are connected/attached/related to us in one way or the other may go down with us. That could just be the end!
We need to draw closer to God every single day of our lives. When last did you pray for more than fifteen minutes a day? Can you remember the last time you studied more than two chapters of the Bible and you still felt like going on and on? Sure, these are not outright measures of your spirituality, but constant and effective study of the word and a sound prayer life are good for the spirit, soul and body. If you have not been communicating regularly with God, now is a good time to return to Him. God is ready to speak to you. He has missed you a great deal and can’t just wait longer to hear from you and have you back to Himself once again!
Now is the time for you to return to Him and build a deeper relationship with Him. Connecting back to God too late may be very costly and disastrous. Tomorrow may just be too late to do so!