I was just old enough to share in the excitement when John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth on February 20, 1962. The whole idea of space exploration captured the imagination and passion of people bound to this earth. The space program became a vital part of the 1960's culture, both good and bad.
On January 27, 1967 a cabin fire killed three of our very best astronauts as they were testing the new Apollo module that would fly man to the moon. I vividly recall the intense sorrow I felt upon hearing of that fire and resulting deaths. I, like many others in this country, felt as though close friends had perished. Such was the power of the space program in the 1960's.
Of course the pinnacle of the space program came on July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon. Anyone old enough to have watched that monumental moment was moved to tears of joy. It was like winning the World Series, Super Bowl and NCAA championship all at once.
Just nine months later in April of 1970 we all were gripped in fear as the three astronauts on Apollo 13 appeared to be doomed to death in space due to a huge problem with their module. One of my favorite movies of all time is Apollo 13 for it truly captured the angst of the crew, NASA, the American people and people all over the world. When the crew returned safely to earth, the joy and relief was indescribable.
On January 28, 1986 life came to a standstill when we found out the space shuttle Challenger had blown apart after launch killing the seven astronauts on board. The pain and sorrow we felt cast a pall over this country for days after the accident. One of the greatest speeches of all time was given by President Ronald Reagan after that disaster as he sought to comfort the country and praise the crew.
On February 1, 2003 the space shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas as it re-entered the earth's atmosphere killing all seven astronauts on board. By this time, interest in the space program had waned and the outpouring of emotion was muted after this disaster. People felt badly but did not experience the same things as they did during previous incidents.
The point of this blog is to remind us that every great discovery and accomplishment in life comes with a price. Those devoted to space exploration devoted their lives to the cause which in some cases meant giving their lives in the process. If people can manifest this degree of commitment to a cause that has nothing spiritual in it, why can't God's people fully commit themselves to God?
Our culture has bred into us a something for nothing mentality that has diminished our work ethic and wiped out the very reason for devotion and commitment. This has spilled over to Christianity and has produced the lukewarm brand of Christian involvement that we see today. Instead of the thrill of taking the Gospel of Christ to the uttermost parts of the earth, there are excuses and good reasons for demanding someone else doing it.
It pains me to see how uncommitted most Christians are to our faith. It disgusts me to see men and women with great potential wasting it on worldly endeavors with financial gain as the only motivation. It deeply distresses me to hear of so many Christians who refuse to allow God to work within them and adamantly resist any possible call to forsake all and follow Him.
God has not requested we climb in a space module and blast off into outer space. God has not demanded we defy gravity and walk in space. All God desires is that we fully commit our hearts to Him and manifest the devotion that should be the expression of our love for Him, His Word and His people.
Thank you and Blessings 2 You!
Although I was too young to remember John Glenn's orbit, young as I was, I actually do remember the first spacewalk by an American (Ed White) in 1965. I was only four years old at the time but my parents were intensely interested in the space program and made sure my brother and I were too. My dad had a cousin who was an engineer at NASA during that time so we felt "connected" in some way as well. I remember the defeats as well as the victories and am reminded that what you said is true. Every great accomplishment and discovery comes with a great price.