Where were you when man first set foot on the moon? You’d have to be at least 50, probably more like 53 or 54, to have an answer to that question. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long.
I was in San Diego. In my early years I spent part of my summer, most every summer, with my Southern Californian grandparents. The moon walk began about 8 pm, Pacific time. I did my first 10 mile run that day, starting early enough that I would be done in plenty of time for the big moment.
My interests were shifting. I would be starting my freshman year in high school. I was getting in shape for my first season of cross country. I had abandoned my boyhood dream, shared with just about every other boy of that era, of becoming an astronaut. I was following the space program, but not nearly as intently as I had earlier.
I was a bit young for Project Mercury. But by the time Project Gemini rolled around, I was hooked. The launches were always early in Florida which meant very early in Oregon, but I was up. I don’t think I missed a single one. We had a huge reel-to-reel tape recorder. I would record the television broadcast, wearing big head phones to monitor what I was recording, pretending I was part of Mission Control.
My sixth grade science fair project was “Project Gemini.” I wrote an 81-page report to go along with it. It was the spring of 1967. I spent my spring vacation that year at the typewriter. Yes, I was a strange little kid.
I looked at the moon last night. It will be a full moon tomorrow. Those same feelings of awe and wonder I remember as a child came back. Fifty years later, there is still so much we don’t know. For example, the side of the moon we never see is significantly more pockmarked with craters than the side we do see. No satisfactory explanation has yet been offered.
I attended a memorial service Saturday. We sang, “O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds thy hands have made . . . ”
We know a lot more about God’s universe because we landed on the moon 50 years ago. We are learning more all the time. But our awe and our wonder will always exceed our knowledge and our understanding.
Take a look at the moon late tonight or early tomorrow. See what thoughts come to your mind. I’m pretty sure it will be for you a spiritual moment.