201: A Space Odyssey

“Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life.” (‭Proverbs‬ ‭19‬:‭20‬ NLT)

Ah, if only it were that simple…

But wait a minute. Why does it have to be complicated? Is a proverb true just because you need a degree in theology to understand it? Of course not!

Proverbs are true BECAUSE they are simple.

Advice brings wisdom. If you know that the advice is leading you the wrong way, you will ignore it and choose another way. Lesson learnt!

If the advice leads you the right way, you will remember it. Lesson learnt!

45 years ago today, Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on another world. He had plenty of advice and instruction, as did all the astronauts who preceded him into space and those who are still out there.

But that moment was so much more than that one step. It was a defining moment in human history. I frequently describe it as “the greatest moment in history”. Contentious, perhaps. Especially in this context!

But I stand by that claim. Humans are capable of the most appalling greed, horror and terror. But when people start to work together for the good of all, the result is incredible.

At certain times of the year, you can look up and see the international space station pass overhead. It symbolises the successful cooperation of many different nations, cultures, ideologies and religions. It is the largest structure ever built in space. But the numbers and superlatives tend to miss the point. Space exploration is about humans moving away from the safe haven that is earth and daring to step tentatively towards the stars.

And 45 years ago tonight, one man took that first step.

God bless the thousands of men and women around the world who work to support the international space station. May their endeavours continue to inspire and encourage. May their advice bring wisdom to all.

Amen.

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