Friday, November 18, 2011

I Am Third

“This is my command: Love each other.”
John 15:17

Captain John T. Ferrier was an Air National Guard Pilot and worked for United Airlines.  He also served in the Korea war.   But on this day, he was doing something that he loved, he was flying with the Air National Guard’s jet precision team at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base outside of Dayton Ohio.   After finishing a very difficult maneuver, Ferrier was trying to regain control of his plane when it began to roll.  Captain Ferrier was in trouble and so were the people and their homes in the small town of Fairborn which lied on the edge of Patterson Field.  His friend watched in horror from his aircraft as John’s plane spiraled out of control, heading for the ground.  “Bail out”, he radioed to John, but no response.  Suddenly there was a terrible explosion, the plane had hit the ground, and John was gone.  Amazingly, the plane had crashed in between four houses in a backyard garden.  But this was no accident.  Captain Ferrier could have saved himself if he would have bailed out minutes earlier as his friend begged him to do.  But the plane would have likely hit a house if not more than one, perhaps severely hurting and possibly killing someone. However, John stayed with his plane, controlling it the best he could. He risked his life to save others.
Several days later his widow found a worn card in his wallet.  All it said was “ I’m third”,  two small but very powerful words.  If we could all live with the attitude that Captain Ferrier had.  He strived to put God first, others second, and himself third.   I don’t think third is such a bad place to be do you!   You may have learned this in Sunday School…. To have true JOY, you must put Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last.  Words to truly live by.

Have a joyful day!

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