Friday, July 8, 2011
The End of an Era
Watching the last shuttle launch brought back the memory of the Challenger explosion in 86. I was on the road traveling from Jackson to the Mississippi gulf coast. I stopped at my former church in Crystal Springs to watch the moment of disaster, but for the rest of my trip I relied on radio alone.....and found out how powerful the mind can be to fill in the gaps of the spoken word.
The radio generation did not miss out, they actually had the opportunity to create images in their mind, and it can be very dramatic. I will never forget that day, especially because so many children were watching America's teacher in space.
Life contains idealism, and realism, and if we are not careful, both can lead to cynicism. My life with NASA was filled with so much that was great about our desire to explore the solar system.
We must in our Christian life keep the balance between God's ideal picture of how life can be, with the struggles and brokenness and accidents and injuries of actually reality. If not we can become cynical about faith.
The day we walked on the moon, I was an idealist camp counselor sitting with a group of campers on a porch watching the event. The reality of a life of ministry contained many times of discouragement and struggle and loss. I thank God I am still hopeful, and only occasionally cynical about life and faith.