Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
Do you remember the world-changing event back in July 1969 when three young astronauts blasted off heading for the moon? What an incredible mission it was—it changed everything!
Obviously it just didn’t happen overnight—with years of physical and mental preparation for them to travel deep into space. They were only young men—with families. Surely they wondered if they would ever see their loved ones again.
You may have seen the fantastic movie First Man, the riveting story of NASA’s plan to land the first man on the moon. And the story of Neil Armstrong, the modest hero. The film shows something of Neil Armstrong’s early life and his determination to fly faster, further and higher. The actor Ryan Gosling, who played Armstrong, said the moon landing transcended countries and borders.
Amazing stuff—2,000 reporters watched the launch from the Kennedy Space Center. Interesting facts about the movie: it doesn’t include anything about his mother Viola Armstrong. But she saw her famous son’s achievement as a gift from a loving God. She is quoted as saying: “I survived this only by the grace of God. He must have been by Neil’s side constantly. God is up there with all three of those boys”. It seems that Neil Armstrong didn’t share in his mother’s strong Christian belief.
The driving force to achieve
But it certainly was “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”. It wasn’t just the three astronauts. No wonder astronaut Neil Armstrong would later say that as he took his first step on the moon he immediately thought about all those 400,000 people who had given him the opportunity to make that first step. The defining moment for him was when he looked out his spacecraft window:
It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small.
Once, when Neil Armstrong was speaking to a group of students, he was asked, perhaps for the millionth time, how walking on the moon changed his life. He replied that because of the moon he got to go to a lot more press conferences at which people asked how the moon changed his life. But he went on to say that when he was a kid the same age as the students asking questions, no one had ever flown a plane at supersonic speed. There was no space program. Going to the moon was pure science fiction. In the first half of his lifetime everything changed. “Opportunities will be available to you that you cannot imagine.”
What is it that drove him to walk on the moon? People do have a driving force to prove the impossible and to achieve the impossible. In the end, it was ‘one small step’.
The most important thing in your life
I wonder what step you need to take in life so that you feel a sense of being worthwhile and fulfilled?:
- What is driving you?
- What do you think about while you’re driving to work?
- What do you think about while you’re driving home?
- What do you think about right before you fall asleep?
These are interesting questions—even more:
- What makes you tick?
- Do you even know?
- Why do you live the way you do—does it even matter?
- For what do you give your energy to?
- What matters most in your life?
I know some will say, Put God first—but what do your actions say? Jesus asks almost the same question: We read in Matthew:
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:26 – NKJV)
What is the most important thing in your life? The answer is: that which drives you or that which motivates you—that which fulfils your desires or that which urges you along as you complete your days here on this earth. I know there are some who trudge through life without a clue of what drives them. They just want to get by. They are satisfied with just making it. They don’t realise their purpose in life and don’t really care what motivates them—what a shame!
Your driving force must be God-centred. You and I must realise our purpose in life is to do the good will of God the Father. It is God who has created us and not vice versa!