Changing our perspective

Eight years after Neil Armstrong stepped out of a rocket ship and became the first human being to set foot on the moon, NASA began its Voyager mission.

The twin probes were able to travel nearly 36,000 mph, which was good, since their mission was to explore Jupiter, the fifth planet from the sun, along with the next three—Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

It was meant to be a five-year mission. Yet, nearly forty-three years after its launch, the mission continues, despite the fact that Voyager 1 shut down in 1990, minutes after it took one of the most amazing photographs in history.

“As Voyager 1 moved beyond the orbit of Neptune, the probe turned its camera towards the starting point of its journey to photograph our home planet from a distance of around 3.7 billion miles, an image that came to be known as the Pale Blue Dot.”[1]

I don’t know about you, but the pale blue dot always helps snap my perspective back to reality.

Everything in our life happens around us, which makes us the center of everything. We turn this way and that, and this or that happens. That’s all we see, which makes life seem to be all about us. But that’s just because we’re not looking far enough.

We need to be like Voyager I, gazing up into the face of God and moving toward him as fast as we can.

Yes, we’re tiny dots on the surface of a tiny dot in a vast universe, within immeasurable space filled with incalculable universes. The miraculous part of our life, though, is that we’re also one with the God who created it all, the One we’re gazing at.

Yes, we’re perishable. And the miraculous part of that is that we’re even more imperishable. We’re going to die, but only part of us, a little like the booster engines that fall away from a rocket when their fuel supply is spent. Apart from that, we’re eternal, like the God we’re gazing at.

And yes, we were born sinners and lived among sinners until we repented of our sins, went to Golgotha and rose from the dead with Jesus—pure, holy, sinless, a newly-born unearthly person.

Every time I think about it, everything around me shrinks in size and importance, and God gets a little bigger and a little closer. It also makes me want to go out and buy a telescope. Or, if I want to see even farther, to grab my Bible.


[1] Lavars, Nick, “Into the great unknown: Voyager, an epic journey to interstellar space,” New Atlas, 17 October 2019.