On August 2, 2005, Air France Flight 358 left Paris with 297 passengers and 12 crew on board and was confronted by a raging thunderstorm as it prepared to land at Toronto International Airport, Canada.
The plane lost control, slewed off the runway, and came to rest in a small ravine 300 metres away. As it crashed, the left engine caught fire and passengers and crew had only seconds to escape. Amazingly, nobody died.
One of the survivors spoke for many when he said, “We felt as if we should have died that afternoon; we felt we’d been saved to live a life of a second chance; we felt we were now to live lives that would give our lives away in compassion.”
That’s salvation! That’s the very meaning experience of being saved.
And that’s essentially what God wills for every convert to Christ to experience; that his or her life has been saved from death, to live a life filled with compassion in order to give itself away.
What We’ve Been Saved From / What We’re Saved For
In some ways the question is not what we’ve been saved from, but we’ve been saved for: a mission in this world. Not dissimilar to the mission of a James Bond type, we’re saved for a mission of good in this world, through love, against the forces of evil which work by fear.
But we have also been saved from a death of a life; a life where everything centred around ‘me’ and I couldn’t quite break those shackles — didn’t know how, but also didn’t know why I would need to — a life of sheer blindness to the vision of God anyone converted to Christ may have.
And if we wanted to dismiss that as either nonsense or as an overstatement then we’d need to go back and look at the way we lived our lives. A life we had more of a hand in was also a life we had less joy in — because that life wasn’t lived for others; for God. It was a life with no point, nor purpose, nor meaning.
As Christians, we’re saved to a life of a second chance.
Having recognised that we’d been rescued from the jaws of death, we commit ourselves daily to living a full life; one that counts for God and for others.
Living a life that loves to live is living a life that loves by compassion — the actual entering in of living with comfort for the suffering.
When we give to others so they may live, we show a way to live that gives them life through their giving to others.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.