FINE MARGINS AND THE BIGGER PICTURE

Fine margins: think Federer v Djokovic at Wimbledon, and New Zealand v England at Lord’s last Sunday.

And what about the fine margin between landing safely on the moon fifty years ago and disaster occurring? Buzz Aldrin commented that there were only a few seconds worth of fuel left before the moon landing.

I was there. There, but not there. I lived that moon landing from the safety of Earth. I breathed a sigh of relief that the astronauts got to the moon and back OK. It was every bit as exciting and tense as last Sunday’s sports events.

Fine margins. But there is a bigger picture. Nobody forgets the image of Earth, described as the most beautiful blue and white marble you’ve ever seen, something which, from the moon, could be covered by an astronaut holding up his thumb. There it was, and there it was gone. But only momentarily, for it was an image that has been shown through the last half century, displaying the colourful and fragile planet which we Earthlings inhabit.

A newspaper article yesterday reported that it wasn’t just science that put people on the moon, but faith. Faith in God. Some astronauts didn’t – and still don’t – believe in God, some had faith in God before they went into space, for others there was an epiphany moment when gazing at that marble: there must be a God. Only God, they believed, could create something so extraordinary and beautiful as Earth where his creatures could live.

Most of us won’t see Earth from the moon or from space. Our challenge is to see and acknowledge God the creator from our viewpoint on Earth.

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