Take a New Look at a Familiar Place

Posted: October 19, 2016 in faith based, religion, spiritual care, Uncategorized
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Imagine orbiting the moon and looking back toward Earth. The Earth appears so small that you can hold up your hand and block it out with your thumb.

Written by Charles W. Sidoti

One of the most enlightening films I have ever seen is Ron Howard’s 2007 documentary In the Shadow of the Moon. In the film, Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell reflects upon his amazing experience of looking back at the Earth while orbiting the moon. Lovell explains how, as he looked out the window of the spaceship and raised his hand in front of his face, the Earth appeared so small that he was able to block it out completely behind his thumb. What a perspective! I have done that same thing with my thumb while looking up at the moon on a summer evening, but Lovell’s experience is something completely different.

Imagine all of Earth’s history, billions of years of evolution; plant, animal, and human life; every conflict; every joy and every sorrow ever experienced; every person who has ever lived, blocked out of existence with your thumb. But you remain. It is only within the last forty years, out of billions of years, of our world’s existence that it is even possible for anyone to see Earth from such a perspective and share the experience with the rest of us.

To paraphrase Lovell, from that unique perspective he realized the insignificance of Earth and all that goes on here. At the same time, however, an awareness of the awesome significance and privilege it is to live as a human being on Earth rushed in upon him. In that same moment, he realized that there is nothing insignificant about human life on Earth. Lovell was able to see the great paradox of our life in a way that only the few human beings who have been to the moon have seen it.

In the same documentary, Apollo astronaut Gene Cernan shares that through the experience of going into space and looking back upon the Earth, he came to the personal realization that the universe is made with too much purpose, contains too much beauty, and is too complex to have happened by chance. In his words, “There must be a Creator that stands above the religions we have created to govern ourselves.” Edgar Mitchell, of Apollo 14, reflects that the experience of leaving the Earth provided him with an epiphany, an insight into the oneness of creation. He states that through this experience, he gained an intuitive awareness that the molecules in his own body and those of the sun, the moon, and the stars, all of life on Earth and far beyond, are all connected. They are one.

These awe-inspiring insights provide a beautiful context in which to reflect upon your own life. Regardless of whatever physical, mental or emotional flaws or personal struggles you may have, realize that the same God who created the beauty of the universe created you. More importantly, know that you are an inseparable part of this universe. You are not separate from the rest of creation, and believing that you are is an illusion.

Be gentle with yourself. As human beings, we are all at different places and stages of our life journey and spiritual awareness. Spiritual growth is about growing in the awareness of God’s presence and our essential connectedness, our oneness, with all of creation; and this takes place throughout our entire life, and in God’s time.

Connecting Point: Imagine orbiting the moon and looking back toward Earth. The Earth appears so small that you can hold up your hand and block it out with your thumb. The billions of years of Earth’s evolution, plant and animal life, the civilizations that have come and gone, every person that has ever lived, every struggle, every disaster and every joy, are blocked out of existence by your thumb, and you remain.

Prayer: God of all creation, creator of the universe, thank you for the precious gift of life. Help me to appreciate the great privilege it is to live each day. Give me the ability to reach beyond myself and to grow in awareness of your loving, supportive presence in my daily life. Instill in my heart a greater sense of gratitude for the significance of all life and indeed all of creation, of which I am inseparably a part. Amen.

This article is an excerpt from “Living at God’s Speed, Healing in God’s Time”

 

Details on Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/Living-Gods-Speed-Healing-Time/dp/158595831X

Contents: http://pastoralplanning.com/23rdBookParts/LivingGodsSpeed_TOC.pdf

Read the Introduction: http://pastoralplanning.com/23rdBookParts/LivingGodsSpeed_Intro

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