Space…the great beyond…endless…eternity. Our current sermon series at church is focusing on eternity and how to live now in the light of it. Recently, I submitted a post on the church website entitled, “Fear paralyzes; Hope mobilizes.”I wrote,
“While we possess the hope of an eternal life with Jesus Christ, He has placed us on earth NOW for a purpose. My hope should mobilize me to live a holy life in light of that hope and the assurance it provides.” http://srfconnect.me
With this thought still resonating in my heart, I began reading a book I had requested for Christmas. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth was written by Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian astronaut to walk in space and command the International Space Station. Since my husband had the privilege of meeting him several years ago, I have followed much of Mr. Hadfield’s career.
I was impressed by Chris’s philosophy of life that he adopted at the young age of nine. He dreamed of becoming an astronaut but in 1968 that was a remote possibility especially for a Canadian. The Canadian Space Agency did not exist at that time. Undaunted, he was determined to do everything he could to pursue his goal. He realized that he needed to adopt an attitude of getting ready now. Chris began training right away by studying harder at school and taking advantage of every opportunity available to him. These included sports, guitar lessons, and Air Cadets. He knew all these things would steer him in the right direction. And they did! He eventually became a fighter pilot, test pilot, and then astronaut. On the road to each space mission, years of training and studying preceded them.
Chris says, “You can’t view training solely as a stepping stone to something loftier. It’s got to be an end in itself. The secret is to try and enjoy it.”i
This really got me thinking. Yes, I know as a Christian I live now in light of my forever home with Jesus, but am I treasuring the ride? Am I taking the time to enjoy the journey for what I can learn and apply now?
God does want us to enjoy our life here on earth. Jesus says in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” (NIV) “My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” (NLT)
I wonder how much fullness and satisfaction I have missed while I agonized over “what ifs”? When did my fear and worrying benefit me or anyone else?
Training during this life is important. I may not see today how it will influence my future, but how much happier and content I would be if I would simply savour each experience, good or otherwise, realizing that God allows every occurrence for the shaping of my character and to prepare me for the next situation. Then, when another challenge or difficulty arises, I will be able to meet it with confidence knowing that all I have learned and embraced up to this point will equip me to handle it.
I take encouragement from the words of Paul in I Timothy 4:7-8, “…train yourself to be godly. Physical training is good, but training for godliness is better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” (NLT)
Until next time,
i Chris Hadfield, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, 2013, Random House Canada, Publisher