2003-02-06 - A Passion
1 Cor 9:19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. (NAS)
On Saturday morning in the clear blue skies over Texas the Space Shuttle Columbia was destroyed as it went out of control at mach 18 and 39 miles up. The seven men and women aboard the spacecraft left this life in an instant. The cause of the tragedy is under investigation as the nation and indeed the world mourn the loss of these exceptional individuals. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of the families involved.
I have followed human space flight since I was very young. I remember back to the Gemini program and have read the records of the Mercury program and the Russian programs as well. I remember the horrible news of the Apollo 1 fire. I was allowed to stay up late and watch the Apollo 11 astronauts walk on the Moon. I held my breath as the Apollo 13 astronauts clung to life in their crippled ship as the world watched and prayed. I watched as Columbia returned to Earth from it's maiden voyage as it was landed right on the X painted on the runway in the Nevada desert. In all of these instances the people involved showed such unmistakable passion for their work.
During one of the press conferences the day of the Columbia disaster one of the gentlemen that was speaking commented on this passion. Their first goal is always to return the crews safely home. Their desire is to make the most of every minute of every flight. They demand excellence of themselves. The price is too high to accept anything less.
I was struck by the comparison of the passion these people have and how it compares with the passion that Paul demonstrates in his life. Paul has a powerful sense of the limitations of time and the frailty of life. He spoke to everyone and anyone who would listen to him about the Messiah he knew and loved so much. He debated with his fellow Jews, with philosophers, Governors and possibly even with Cesar. If anyone had a reason to throw in the towel it was Paul. He was beaten and left for dead, shipwrecked, put on trial and imprisoned. Not unlike the sleepless engineers who solved the problems for the Apollo 13 crew, Paul saw the urgency and the reward and he never wavered from his purpose.
The price is too high to accept anything less.
Col 3:23-24 Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men; 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. (NAS)
Lord Jesus - lead us into excellence no matter where we are or what we do that we may be a witness for you with our actions and our words. Amen.
Grace & Peace,