When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the mood the stars you have set in their courses,
What is man that you should be mindful of him?
the son of man that you should seek him out? (Psalm 8:4-5)
Today is the 45th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s one small step.
It was three weeks before my eighth birthday. The Apollo program meant that I grew up in a world where space exploration was no longer the stuff of science fiction. It was an accomplished fact.
My favorite piece of the Episcopal Church’s Litany of Thanksgiving (1979 Book of Common Prayer) is the expression of gratitude for “minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve”. I may be a bit of a nerdy romantic, but I believe that all of these were a part of the space program. If you don’t agree, please watch Apollo 13
I’ve always thought God wanted us to think, to explore the world around us, as a way of knowing and loving God more fully.
Marquette University, where I earned my doctorate, apparently agrees.
I don’t have a great, profound theological reflection today. Just gratitude and joy that the human heart and mind–and a lot of hands–aspire to such astounding achievements. And actually accomplish them.