March 31, 2021
Kelly Price Ph.D.
Focus ScriptureHebrew 12:1-3 ESV
Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
The preparation had taken years. The journey was over 300 million miles and it took seven months to get there. While every detail was scrutinized, all they could do was hope. And wait.
“You can do it,” I whispered to myself.
Before the landing, NASA headquarters was almost dead silent. You could hear a pin drop as the project manager read off numbers and codes. Breaths were short. The tension in the room was palpable as NASA scientists watched if their mission to Mars was going to be successful.
Then, Perseverance landed. It landed at the precise location at the exact second. Cheers, applause, relief, and celebration flooded NASA main command. Then, it got even better. Within seconds, we saw the pictures. It was difficult to comprehend I was actually looking at real-time images of Mars. It was simply amazing and beautiful to see.
Can you imagine the first meeting when the scientists convened in a little conference room where somebody asked, “What do you think about going to Mars?” While exciting as it must have sounded, they knew then and there the journey ahead was going to be long, arduous, and full of frustration.
But we don’t have to look 300 million miles away to find our landing target. The Scripture tells us not to lose sight. There is, through perseverance, a hope and enduring light which will take us from the challenges and into infinite possibilities. We can grow weary and lose heart. No doubt NASA probably grew quite weary as they developed their Mars mission. It must have been overwhelming at times.
In different ways, we endure overwhelming times, too. Hardships, trials, loss, and heartbreak cause us to become hopeless. The harsh grip of struggle and pain can smother our souls. However, we don’t need complex mathematical formulas to help find our answer. Jesus endured and persevered for us. He took the journey, met the challenges, and all for us.
Scientific space exploration pushes human capability, expands our cognitive boundaries, and catapults the human spirit into a limitless sphere. It is productive for the future of humanity. When I watched the landing, I was reminded and inspired by the human spirit and how it is enduring. Holy Week provides the same inspiration for us in our spiritual lives.
I watched an interview of a NASA head engineer after Perseverance had landed. He had sweat dripping from his brow and had apparently lost a lot of sleep. But the look in his eyes, which were a little glassy from the tears, was one of pure relief and sincere joy. He said one thing that stuck with me and basically summed it all up: “NASA still works!”
And it was all due to Perseverance.
Holy Wisdom, we thank you for the human spirit. We thank you for the inspiration of the world around us and worlds yet to be explored. Jesus endured a journey none of us could imagine, but thankfully you had the controls. Grant us the courage to keep heart and not lose faith. Help us to remember the power of determination and how Jesus gives that to us even in our darkest moments. Just like space, your love is infinite and never-ending. Help us not lose sight, not lose faith, and successfully complete our mission in your name. Amen.