Take a look at this picture of astronaut Pete Conrad, handling moon rocks collected on his Apollo 12 lunar mission. This is the same wise-cracking fighter jock who had Playboy centerfold photos hidden in the checklist strapped to his wrist as he explored the lunar surface. Perhaps it’s just my imagination, but when I look in his eyes I see almost a sense of humility and awe. It is as if he is saying, “Do you believe I get to do this? Man, I have the greatest gig in the world!”There must have been times when even astronauts felt like their job sucked. Some days, the goals seemed impossible and the hardships and costs too high. Yet, it all must have all been worth it in moments like the one captured in this photo.
When was the last time you felt that way in following Jesus? Whether you consider yourself clergy or laity, when was the last time you took communion bread in your hand with the same sense of wonder as if you were holding a piece of another world? Does holding the hand of dying person, or helping someone pick up the pieces of their broken life humble us in the same way as holding a moon rock?
There are many days when it sucks to follow Jesus. On those days, we need to remember that as disciples, we get to handle pieces of another world. We have the greatest gig in the world.