Talk about being environmentally wasteful! Here I am, using paper not plastic, recycling my cans and bottles, shunning cars with yellow paint because I hear it’s not good for the environment—and NASA has this rusty old 6½-ton space capsule that’s going to crash land on my head?!
That’s the news report, folks. The Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS), which was launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in 1993 to study climate conditions, is expected to fall to earth this week—probably on Friday, September 23. By NASA’s admission, it’s the largest “uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere” in more than 30 years.
And here’s the kicker: NASA doesn’t know where it will land. It could be anywhere between the latitudes 57 degrees north and 57 degrees south—an area that encompasses most of the inhabited world.
Given this (and given, I suppose, the population distribution in this wide-ranging portion of the globe), researchers estimate that there is a 1-in-3,200 chance that the satellite will actually land on a person when it makes its fiery descent through the atmosphere.
Of course, with the population of Earth estimated to be 6.96 billion, there is only the remotest of chances that you or someone you love will be the unlucky bloke to take it on the head from the bus-sized space debris. One never knows, however—and so whether we’re going to die under a retired satellite or of natural causes, we should always be prepared to stand before our Heavenly Father.
This is why I’ve taken time to pen this Prayer for Just in Case a Satellite Lands on Your Head. Because we’ve got to be ready.
I didn’t know, when I woke today,
That this might be the last day of my time on Earth.
I didn’t know that satellites were so big,
Or that they fell so hard,
Or that they flamed up on entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.
I did know, though, that I love You,
And I want to be with You for all eternity.
So if today is my last day—
If I die under the UARS or under a falling tree limb,
If I experience a heart attack
Or doctors find an inoperable tumor,
Or if a drunk driver plows into my car at the intersection,
Or if my body is just too old and tired to go on–
Whatever way is in Your plan,
I know that I will be safe in Your loving arms.
Help me to be brave,
Help me to be strong,
And help me to turn my eyes heavenward—
Not toward a satellite, but toward You.