I'm the type of soul that is only ever really able to keep one clear thought in his mind at a time. The result of living then, is a library of kept thoughts, little schticks that I have coveted from past time spent in labor. The following harkens to the schtick that tends to bear itself as one of the issues most center to my core m.o. in striving forward through the days:
This week, two scientists in Washington came out to propose a plan for a manned Mars mission.* The catch that makes their proposal so bold and perhaps obscene, is that the mission calls only for a one-way ticket. Whoever makes the voyage would have to stay there. Forever. Conceivably then, this would usher in the era of not only the first person to step foot on another planet, but additionally the first soul to die on alien ground.
So far, it appears the proposition is not accumulating many encouraging remarks. This should be expected. As Americans, we have long held the human life as the that thing with which chief importance is carried. We would never let one of our own die out there.
Now, as a Christian, I lament what I perceive in much of the popular Christian movement particularly in the last hundred years as being anti-scientific. It is true that God has revealed Himself in many ways, and surely He does so by creation itself. Jesus said that if the people stopped praising His name the rocks would cry out. All the universe speaks to God's majesty. If then, we seek to discover the secrets of the rules of the universe, as long as we do so humbly, we have another glimmer of seeing God's character at work. We call this general revelation.
I would go so far as to say that as Christians, we have a duty to seek God through discovery of the cosmos. Granted, I understand that through science alone we will never reach God's touch. Nevertheless, if we seek out the knowledge of the universe in humility and with an eye to please God by being enamored at His great handiwork, then is it not a magnificent form of worship.
Please accept my premise of discovery as indicative to the Christian life. If so, we can move on...
We can't send our best astronauts to Mars to live and die. It's not feasible. It's not reasonable. It's just not going to happen.
BUT! What if we send our worst?
Embrace it for a second. The murderers, the rapists; they deserve suffering, death, and the eternal torment of hell. But what if we collectively offered those most condemned among us a chance at redemption?
We take men and women sentenced with the death penalty, and we say, "Here, you can serve our nation by means of sacrificing your days in pursuit of this great conquest."
In the book of Deuteronomy, we read about the Cities of Refuge. These were towns established strictly for manslaughterers. They could claim a sort of sanctuary in these towns. We can do the same thing with Mars! Mars becomes the great city of refuge!
So, whaddaya think? Sound like a plan?
Let's start tomorrow! No, today! Even now. Now.*http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101115/ap_on_sc/us_one_way_to_mars