"Not because they are easy, but because they are hard."

Today marked one of the last shuttle lift-offs ever to occur.

As it turns out, I was sick yesterday, and spent the day in bed watching From Earth to the Moon. (A fantastic and wonderful early birthday gift from my sis and brother-in-law.) If you know me pretty well, then you know of my love of space. If you don't, then here's the Reader's Digest version: I wanted to be an astronaut, but through a series of events ended up, during the summer of 1989, attending music camp and not Space Camp. Instead of operating flight simulators, I was playing in an orchestra for the first time. That changed everything. But as the character "Dave" says in Stranger Than Fiction, "You're never too old to go to Space Camp, dude." So who knows.

My awesome nephews were here last week, and one day we went to the Wright-Patt museum. Ethan, the oldest of the two, has a love a space that far exceeds mine. "Mimi, " he said as he grabbed my hand, "I can NOT believe we're here." We ate astronaut food, and stood and stared at rockets, planes, and even parts of the Apollo program.

As I watched the mini-series yesterday (If you haven't seen it, you must!), I will admit I cried at least twice, in almost every episode. Part of it was that yesterday was Easter, and seeing space, and the Earth, and the moon, and what man is capable of, made what Jesus did for us meaningful in a different way. He gave His life so that we can have an abundant one. And by watching what man is capable of doing when given a challenge, a goal, and the allowance to use imagination, innovation, and determination, "Abundant life" takes on a whole new meaning.

The other reason I cried was the same reason that going to Wright-Patt was a tee-tiny bit difficult. I don't have many, if any, "life regrets". There aren't too many things I wish I could do over again or differently. But watching this piece of Emmy-winning art, made me realize just how bad I did really want to work at NASA.

On Friday there was a news article about how Titusville, Florida, is struggling. "Space City" as it is called, fears losing jobs, tourist business, etc., due to the cutbacks this administration has decided to make in the space program. And today's launch was one of the last of it's kind.

The title of this blog is from that famous 1961 speech of J.F.K.'s. He gave the country only nine years to do the impossible. Nine years to leave our planet and to "boldly go where no man has gone before." In less than three thousand days, our country found a way to send a man beyond what we knew anything about. It was the perfect combination of risk and trust. Many times, NASA was literally, as the phrase goes, "building the plane while they fly it", yet the Eagle landed.

"If this capsule history of our progress teaches us anything, it is that man, in his quest for knowledge and progress, is determined and cannot be deterred. The exploration of space will go ahead, whether we join in it or not, and it is one of the great adventures of all time, and no nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in the race for space.....We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people......We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard....Many years ago the great British explorer George Mallory, who was to die on Mount Everest, was asked why did he want to climb it. He said, "Because it is there.".........as we set sail we ask God's blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked."

The greatest adventure indeed..........


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