For 42 years, I’ve been making small regular deposits in this bank of experience: education and training. And on January 15, the balance was sufficient so that I could make a very large withdrawal.
—US Airways Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, in an interview with CBS Evening News, June 12, 2009
In January 2009, birds flew into the engines of US Airways Flight 1549 immediately after the plane’s takeoff from New York’s LaGuardia Airport. Both engines simultaneously shut down. The only option was to ditch the plane in the Hudson River. Doing so without accruing fatalities was unlikely—even for a veteran pilot, flight instructor, and accident investigator like Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger III.
Yet Sullenberger took charge of the realm for which he was responsible. While passengers cried out for someone to bring order to the chaos, Sullenberger kept the plane just high enough to clear the George Washington Bridge and performed a perfect textbook ditching. All souls survived in the “Miracle on the Hudson.”
Captain Sullenberger had never guided an 80-ton piece of metal onto the water’s surface. But he had learned aircraft maneuvering inside and out. His previous 19,000 hours of flight time had prepared him with the skills and mind-set to rule the realm of his plane well, rather than his plane ruling him.
Men, the mastery of your kingdom under God’s authority demands wholehearted preparation. Some moments may appear uneventful, but each is an opportunity to administer order, authority, and provision to your domain. Each day provides a choice to align your life under God’s authority, to exercise and sharpen your leadership, to prepare. When chaos enters your kingdom, you will be ready.