A day when the little things made all the difference

"LONDON They were the trivial details and split-second decisions of any early-morning trip to work. Should you hit the snooze button and buy a few extra moments of sleep? Should you brazen your way onto a packed subway car or wait for the next one? But on Thursday morning, such little things made all the difference.

Paul Dadge overslept. That meant he reached the subway late, boarded a train at King's Cross late, and ended up two trains behind - instead of inside - the one ripped apart by a bomb deep in the tunnel near the Edgware Road station at 9:17 a.m."

This article tells the amazing story of "split second" decisions, last minute changes, delays that saved someone's life. I personally know how that feels, because of an incident I experienced twenty-years ago that taught me this lesson loud and clear.

A Close Call with Disaster

On August 2nd, 1985, I was on an Air Force Medivac Flight at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, enroute to Biloxy Mississippi. The take off time 5:45pm, yet we were delayed from take off because of heavy thunderstorm activity in the area. I remember being impatient wanting to get home to my wife. Finally we took off for Biloxy Mississippi the time? It was 6:03pm.

The next morning on the way to breakfast I stopped to get the newspaper. On the front page was this headline: "Delta Flight 191 Crashes at Dallas/Fort Worth 136 dead".

The time of crash? 6:05 pm. I stood there and stared at the paper. I don't know if you've had a close call such as this. If so you will know that you have a feeling of terror and sadness all at the same time. You think of the poor souls that were lost, but then you realize how close you came to being a victim yourself. It's a feeling that you never lose.

Just a few minutes, a different runway, a little delay, was the difference.

Since that day I've been a firm believer that "seconds" can make the difference between life and death. I don't know "why them" and "not us", that's in God's hands. But when I think of that day I am in awe of the difference a slight change can make. Now when I'm delayed in traffic, or especially now that I fly frequently, and I get delayed or bumped from the flight, I remember that day. Since that day, I've never really been in a hurry. Today's article simply reminds me of the brevity of life and the "salvation of delay".


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