Friday, December 19, 2008

Pale Blue Dot

On Valentine’s Day 1990 the spacecraft Voyager 1 took an amazing photo 4 billion miles away from home. The photo became known as “the pale blue dot” and was the inspiration of a book of the same title by astronomer Carl Sagan. Sagan makes this comment:
Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader", every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

I’ve had the “pale blue dot” photo on my computer throughout today. It’s been one of those ministry days with a little bit of everything: an early morning meeting for Men’s Ministry, a quick hospital visit, working on the church budget (and worrying about rising transportation and energy costs), preparation for the weekend message and looking ahead to coming weeks, pastoral counseling with a couple, various staff concerns and writing – all taking place on that pale blue dot – just a speck “suspended in a sunbeam." It makes you feel small and significant at the same time.

Yet the inhabitants of that dot are known and loved by the One who spoke galaxies into existence.

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