At the mere suggestion of making a visit to Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral, Sister Immaculata took her NASA pin from her lapel and pinned it to my shirt pocket. Patting it she said, “You should go.” Selected to become a Teacher in Space in 1986, Sister did not make the trip. She has, however, jumped out of a plane strapped to a Special Forces Marine and hopes to do so again in celebration of her eightieth birthday this month.
While I have no desire to jump out of a plane or travel into space, I am known for being willing to go the extra mile, in my own way, when necessary. If it means doing something for God or seeing something I have not seen before, if there is the slightest possibility that I will never get that way again, I will go. With so much to experience less than an hour away, I awoke early the next morning and set out.
I find it fascinating that human beings are actually smart enough to have found their way into space. Orville and Wilbur Wright figured out how to get off the ground and that incredible moment opened wide the door of endless possibilities. Reaching into space has brought a better understanding of how small we are and where we sit in relation to so much more. Being reminded of how small we are gives us the opportunity to be humbled and inspired.
According to my computer’s dictionary: The universe is believed to be at least 10 billion light years in diameter and contains a vast number of galaxies; it has been expanding since its creation in the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago.
So really, we are all just tiny dots in the cosmos. Though each of us is small in relation to the whole, every one of us is critical to the plan, God's plan, that is. God’s plan is bigger than we can dream. Eternity, which is promised, reaches far beyond light years. Whether or not we can visit there is left to some speculation, though I believe it has happened for a blessed few.
I say we keep reaching, beyond what is humanly possible, because with God, the possibilities are endless. We know there are consequences to every action no matter how far we go or what we do. We also know that Mother Nature has the power to wipe us out in an instant. I say dream big but don’t forget to love deeply that which is right in front of you. I know I don’t want to miss a single opportunity to live and learn.
As I entered the Kennedy Space Center Museum that day, heavy on my heart were the two space shuttle disasters; Challenger in 1986 and Columbia in 2003. While these tragic events brought great loss, it was wonderful to see the memory and contributions of each fallen astronaut acknowledged and recognized. NASA has had many more successes than failures. Throughout the park the following motto can be found; "Failure is not an option.” It is obvious that even through loss, knowledge has been gained.
I bought my own NASA pin at the gift shop. I will never regret going the extra miles to experience the wonder of our space program. The glory of space exploration is a big part of our past. I have a feeling there is much more to be discovered in the future.
2 Peter 3:13 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells. (NASB)