Voyager and our own journey (Prayer Devotional for the week of September 16, 2012)

Something remarkable is going to happen within the next year. In 1977, NASA launched two probes named Voyager 1 & 2 to explore our solar system, and – eventually – beyond it. Well, eventually has arrived. These two spacecraft are about to enter interstellar space.

Voyager 1 & 2, whose computers pack a miniscule 80 kilobytes of memory (80 kB is smaller than a typical digital photo), have provided scientists here on Earth with invaluable data about our outer planets. Even after all these years, the spacecraft still send daily information back to Earth.

Pause a moment and wrap your head around this: For the first time ever, something that human beings made will exit the solar system.

It is an extraordinary accomplishment, and something for which the scientists should be rightfully proud. And yet, we still know so little about our universe. Earth is just a speck of dust when compared to even our own Milky Way (where our Sun is one of roughly 400 billion stars), much less the farthest reaches of space.

Here at Crossroads, we are launching a sermon series today on finding balance in life. It seemed fitting to begin our prayer devotional for this topic with a candid reminder of just how insignificant we really are, in the grand scheme of the universe. So, when it seems like the whole world is coming to a stand-still because the drive-thru barista got your complicated latte order incorrect, a client yelled at you, your boss blamed you, only a few folks “liked” your weekly negative Monday morning Facebook post and you just don’t know how you can make it through another week, reflect on the psalmist’s words:

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,  what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” (Psalm 8:3-4, NIV)

As much as we may wish that the world revolved around us, it simply doesn’t. We may feel like Voyager 1 & 2, whose outdated software pales in comparison to today’s technological gizmos, and yet look at what they are accomplishing! It may have taken 35 years, but these spacecraft are hurtling out of the Sun’s gravitational grasp. When it feels like your own journey is off-kilter, remember the One who will never, ever let you out of his grasp. “He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit” (Psalm 147:4-5, NIV).

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