On the other hand…

The space program (and sci fi devotees) preserve, at their best, one of the essential components of being human and being a Christian: the sense of wonder and even gratitude. (Even hard-boiled pantheists who think they are atheists like Carl Sagan can’t escape it. See Contact if you don’t believe me.) I’m reminded of this as a reader writes:

We began our military career at Edwards AFB in the 80s. We lived on base, our eldest was born at the base hospital. No joke, we could leave the house at the sound of the sonic boom and drive to our favorite hill to watch it land and arrive w/plenty of time and no crowds. My husband was a research chemist working on propellants — a real rocket scientist. I’ve seen Crippen, Young, Yaeger, etc. all up close and personal. I’ve also lived amidst and breathed the same air as thousands who work to make that piece of machinery fly. Our life has been peppered with space ever since, satellite control, mission support at Cape Canaveral. I’ve walked under the wing of an orbiter, been on top of a building at the Cape to watch a launch with a bunch of these folks, stood on the beach 15 minutes from my house and watched John Glenn’s shuttle ride, felt the sound waves beneath my feet in my backyard in Florida.

Believe me, they are some of the most highly educated children you will ever meet.

Why? Because, every time it launches and lands, if they can, they stand looking aloft, with awe and wonder on their faces. Gray hair, wrinkles, pudges aside, what comes through loud and clear is that they possess a childlike joy in what they do.

What has impressed me over the years is how they look at all they’ve accomplished — and still stay in touch with its insignificance in contrast to God’s creation.

Lesson: The more education and knowledge they acquired, the more they learn they DON’T know!

Jesus cautions us that we must become like children to enter the kingdom of heaven — these folks are there and teach a lesson for all of us.

Peace to the crew of Columbia and their families through Christ. May you find the fullness of wonder in the Creator whose works you courageously explored.