If it was not for a Russian obsession with ‘windscreen cams’ we westerners would never have seen the seven ton rock, travelling at 17,000 miles per second, explode with the equivalent of five atom bombs of the kind dropped on Hiroshima. Incredibly no body died even though the shock wave travelled all around and through the world.
We in the UK have just seen a well produced documentary all about the risk our planet faces from lumps of asteroid, and the effort and technology NASA is employing to prevent our extinction. The salient point for me was the huge, now subterranean crater in Mexico where a very large meteor hit. This ended the reign of those terrible lizards – the dinosaurs.
14,000 years ago the big one did it for them, some time in the future another one will do it for us, so the logic goes.
I see God’s grace in the fact that subsequent meteor strikes in recent times have been air bursts in remote locations. The Latest is in fact the closest to a city yet seen. Equally the work by NASA to find a reliable means to deflect the big one, will be a massive miracle of God’s grace and man’s ingenuity.
When Father made us in his image that included aspects of His creativity and intellect. A gift for helping us live in abundance and security on this good earth. Within the hearts and minds of NASA scientists and their world wide colleagues, is a desire to save this good earth we live on, and to deflect a possible mass extinction.
But, and there is always a but; everyday someone, somewhere is murdered, civil wars are fomented, people are unjustly treated…. the list goes on.
Everyday there are mini extinctions, one individual at a time. We all die in the end but what can we do to slow down the murder rate, starvation, neglect and all the other social and political sins?
In an 1100th century church near me is an epitaph to a vicar who – loved the Lord God with all his heart, loved his family and served his congregation with love.
I think that’s the correct order for bit by bit, little by little, transformation of community. Over the years I have zealously (and sometimes selfishly) sought to ‘serve’ God, and neglected my family, my ego has cast dark shadows over people’s lives at times. I know conflict cannot always be avoided. But I try for better resolutions.
As a practical illustration we in the UK are seeing a rise in white immigration from Eastern Europe, these people go by the collective noun – effniks. The press is demonizing these people, and due to recession, racial intolerance is subtlety growing. My response within my business as a hairdresser, is one of welcome to all immigrants and subtle conversation with British customers to re-think their position. As I normally get ‘heated’ to say the least about things I believe in, I am learning a more inclusive and reconciling means of communication. (As the former leads to a loss on my bottom line!)
What I do not intend doing is forming an organization or a pressure group. I intend working out part of one statement by Jesus – ”Love your neighbour as yourself”. I like to be appreciated and understood; equally I like my opinion to be valued even if it is not agreed with. What I hate is a slap down dismissal of my values and world view; or worse being screwed over by unscrupulous people. I intend working things out within my family first and with my friends and the wider community.
As a believing Christian it is my intention to work this out humanistically. These words of Jesus are for the World, not one faith group alone. There is no need for divine unction to be kind and empathic. I thik the prophet Nike said – ”Just do it!’´ NASA is made up of scientists from all corners of the globe, some have a faith some don’t. But all are working for the common good. Everybody from Atheists to Zoroastrians can love their neighbour as themselves. Then maybe an ancient old testament yearning- swords turned into plough shares can become a reality.