On an early morning in August, 2006, Comair flight 5191 crashed on takeoff from an airport near Lexington, Kentucky. 49 people were killed.
What went wrong? As the story unfolded, it was revealed that the plane had tried to take off from the wrong runway. This runway, designed for small private aircraft, was much shorter than the one that flight 5191 was supposed to use—too short for a commercial jet to get safely airborne. The pilots had mistakenly taxied to the wrong runway and didn’t realize it until it was too late.
How could such a thing happen? One investigator explained, “Frankly, it’s not that difficult. It was rainy. It was dark. The pilots were on unfamiliar territory. It was the first runway they came to. With the rain and the fog, it looked the same as the other runway.”
It looked the same, but it wasn’t the same.
That morning, one runway wasn’t as good as another. There was one and only one path the plane was supposed to take, and it wasn’t on it. The result was disaster.
“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12). Humanity is filled with religions and philosophies which, at first glance, share some similarities. They speak of spiritual things, teach some degree of truth, involve people in kind deeds, and promise certain desirable results. For people who are searching, hurting, looking for a way out of difficulties in life, trying to fill an emptiness inside, one path may look the same as the next. But if it’s eternal life and fellowship with God that we seek, one way is not as good as another. Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but through Me” (John 14:6). He did not claim to be one way among many, but the only way. “There is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).