Sent:  May 14, 2002

Subject:  Don’t Forget Your Glasses!

Good Morning Ethan & Emily:

In Psalms 14:1 David reminds us:  “Only fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God.'”  In fact, for emphasis this truth is again repeated in Ps. 53:1.  Thinking about this took me back in my memory to the early days of space exploration.  I was a freshman in High School when man first entered the vastness of space, and because of the historic nature of these events, I can remember that on several occasions classes were adjourned to the gym so that we could all listen “live” as events unfolded.  The first person to enter space was a Russian named Yury Alekseyavich Gagarin who took the first manned trip into outer space on April 12, 1961.  It has been reported that he made a statement after his flight that he did not see God during his flight, but the statement was not widely reported. 

It was the next Russian astronaut, Major Gherman Titov, who created much publicity when he triumphantly reported after his return to Earth:  “I looked and looked, but I didn’t see God.”

Contrast this with the observation of John Glenn, who on February 20, 1962, became the first American to orbit the Earth.  Observing the heavens and earth from the window of his Discovery spacecraft as he made a return flight as a senior citizen on November 4, 1998, he stated:  “To look out at this kind of creation and not believe in God is to me impossible.  It just strengthens my faith.”

In December of 1968 astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders became the first three humans to circle the moon in Apollo 8.  On December 24th, most Americans and people around the world were “glued” to radios and TVs as the astronauts approached a critical firing of their rockets on the backside of the moon while out of radio contact.  With a successful firing, they would be aimed back at Earth; without it, they would have been lost in space and unable to return.  After many anxious moments, the voice of James Lovell announced to an expectant and relieved world:  “Please be informed, there is a Santa Claus.”

Then, looking at the “earthrise” over the horizon of the moon in what have become some of the most famous pictures of all time, Borman took the opportunity to read a prayer, and Anders led the group by reading from the 1st chapter of Genesis.  He began:  “We are now approaching lunar sunrise.  And, for all the people back on earth, the crew of Apollo 8 have a message that we would like to send to you.  ‘In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth….'”

Jim Lovell and Frank Borman followed Anders in reading from the creation story…closing with “And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you, all of you on the good earth.”

Borman later explained:  “I had an enormous feeling that there had to be a power greater than any of us…that there was a God, that there was indeed a beginning.”

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin would later be the first men to land on the moon in July 1969, and before they emerged from the spacecraft, Aldrin opened his Bible and with a silver chalice and bread and wine, celebrated communion.

James Erwin who walked on the moon in 1971 described his lunar mission as a revelation:  “I felt the power of God as I’d never felt it before.”

The Russian astronauts were both right and wrong.  It is true that “no one has ever seen God…(John 1:18) but they were wrong in assuming that because they could not see Him that He does not exist.  We cannot see the wind…only it’s effects…but it exists and has great power.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork” (Ps. 19:1).  Jesus reminded His disciples often:  “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father!  So why are you asking to see Him?” (John 14:9).

Jesus told “doubting” Thomas:  “You believe because you have seen me.  Blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believe anyway” (John 20:29).

The Russians didn’t see God…because they were not wearing “eyeglasses” of faith.  Don’t make the same mistake…Take your with you every day…everywhere…and be blessed as you see the world with “spiritually perfect” vision!

Have a wonderful day wearing your “faith glasses.”

All my love,