I must admit that in a world where technology reigns, very few things evoke awe in me anymore. However, some of the images I’ve seen of outer space leave me dumbfounded. So, I wonder how awestruck I would be if I were given the opportunity to voyage into “the final frontier!” Yet, considering Captain Kirk’s (William Shatner) comments regarding his recent real outer space adventure, I am once again convicted of my disparaging attitude towards the many awe-inspiring things right in front of me here on earth. And, it humbly brings me to my knees in a cry of gratitude and thanksgiving for that which I take for granted and of repentance for what I do not take care of as I should. Can you relate?
In October of 2021, TV and movie legend William Shatner became the oldest person to go into space when he flew on Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin rocket – an experience that he says filled him with overwhelming sadness.Frank Webster, Bizpcreview.com, 10/10/22
The 91-year-old Star Trek icon has written a memoir titled, “Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder,” in which he says the 11-minute rocket flight caused him one of the “strongest feelings of grief” he has ever experienced.
Video taken after the rocket landed safely back on Earth showed Bezos and other crewmembers celebrating with champagne and smiles, but Shatner was visibly moved and was brought to tears at one point. In an excerpt of the memoir released by Variety, Shatner wrote that his experience felt less awe-inspiring and more like “a funeral.”
“I discovered that the beauty isn’t out there, it’s down here, with all of us. Leaving that behind made my connection to our tiny planet even more profound,” he wrote. He expressed sorrow at what he says is mankind’s careless destruction of the planet.
There are those who may think it’s ridiculous or even idolatrous to invest time and resources in taking care of the earth. Granted, there are ideologies concerning the environment that are ludicrous. Some are even evidently driven by selfish gain. However, that doesn’t mean that as Christians we should forsake taking care of the temporary homes (our planet and our bodies) that God has allowed us to live in. We should all do our part to minimize pollution in our world. And no, I am not suggesting we advocate for the hypocritical Green New Deal or go around hugging trees. I am referring to simple efforts like, not being counted among the litterbugs of society, getting involved in community revitalization projects, and upkeeping our individual habitats.
But, taking care of our surroundings is not limited to the natural and man-made world alone. It most definitely includes our personal life (mind, body, and soul) and the relationships that form part of it. Being conscious of our health and taking care of our bodies is as important as building and maintaining wholesome relationships with our spouses, children, family members, and friends.
Landscapes, waterbodies, flora, and fauna are not the only things we can better appreciate if we take care of them. We can truly experience what Jesus referred to as “life more abundant” if we learn to dedicate undivided time and attention to people as well. Perhaps that means that some of us will have to “disconnect” from technology for a while in order to “connect” more with those who form part of our lives or are, hopefully, still trying to.
Maybe if we stop for a moment and think of how blessed we are with some of the things we have been gifted, we would be able to see and marvel at the awe in front of us!
I Stand in Awe of You