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On the Wrong Phone

By Peter P. Macinta

On August 8, 2009 nine people lost their lives when a plane and a helicopter collided over the Hudson River. Soon after that, it was reported that an air traffic controller in Teterboro, New Jersey had turned over responsibility for guiding the plane Newark Liberty International Airport controllers seven seconds before the helicopter appeared on his radar screen.

Through the Freedom of Information Act, the Associated Press (AP) secured a copy of the recording of the Teterboro control tower from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). According to the AP, the recording indicates the controller was engaged in a phone conversation while at the same time controlling air traffic.

After the helicopter became airborne, its pilot, Steven Altman, seems to have misunderstood the Teterboro controller's instructions regarding what frequency to use to contact the Newark controllers. According to National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman, Altman called back the wrong frequency to the controller but was never corrected.

It was also reported that FAA and union officials had said it did not seem the controller's actions contributed to the accident.

Personally, I have to wonder. After all, there is some merit to the phrase that two heads are better than one. It would seem to me that perhaps one more fully focused mind just might have help to avoid this tragic accident.

While I, and many of us, really don't know exactly what took place on the part of the Teterboro controller, it does give us an example of what can happen in the spiritual realm if we are not on the right phone. Spiritually speaking, it's fine to be on the spiritual phone provided you're in communion with the Blessed Controller.

In Proverbs 4:20-22 we read, "My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh."

Satan and society would prefer you chat with them about problems, things in the material realm, money--anything but that which is of eternal value. In so doing, we not only damage ourselves spiritually, but we cause others not to get the correct frequency for a safe flight through life.

The advice we give to others must be rooted in the holy Word of God. We need to stay spiritually focused to truly help others, and ourselves, avoiding collision with sin and its results.

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