Space Flight, and Other Things We Take for Granted

I was four when the Challenger space shuttle exploded during launch. I vaguely remember hearing the news. I don’t remember hearing Reagan’s speech.

I wasn’t even close to being born in the Apollo 11 era, or even during the Apollo 13 crisis. I saw the movie, though.

I do, of course, remember the Columbia tragedy eight years ago, though I am not sure if I watched George W.’s address. Right now, I am watching Discovery as it sits on the runway following a successful mission and landing, and all the support trucks and vans lining up to remove the crew from their vessel.

And, I am wondering, how did space flight ever become routine? I mean, I know how. We are humans and we take things for granted. It’s what we do. What I really mean to say is, isn’t it incredible how easily we come to consider something so extraordinary as space travel as normal?

Not just space travel, but surgeries, technology, God’s creation, cars, air-conditioning, quantum mechanics, and millions of other things that we don’t understand, but we take for granted and consider as normal or routine.

Of course, we even do this to God, which is undoubtedly the most common sin of all–that is, taking God for granted. He is anything but routine. Perhaps you could make the case that He is normal–even the most normal thing there is; the very definition of “normal.” But, He is certainly not routine. And, He is certainly not to be taken for granted.

Neither is travelling into space, for that matter. But, we will continue to consider it routine and take it for granted, at least until the next tragedy strikes. I pray it is a long way off.

And, isn’t that another commentary, or perhaps even a parable, on how we treat God?


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