on the end of the space shuttle program

I can still remember wandering around the Southern California desert outside of Edwards Air Force Base in the spring of 1981 with eyes firmly fixed on the skies. The Space Shuttle Columbia was returning from space. Watching the shuttle land felt like something new was happening. The possibilities seemed limitless.
I remember sitting in my living room on Saturday morning in February 2003 after learning Columbia had broken apart over Texas during reentry. I wasn’t shocked as much as I was sad. It wasn’t shocking because our expectations for the shuttle program had diminished long ago. It was sad because it seemed like all of the dreams and possibilities I experienced watching it land in 1981 fell back to earth with the broken pieces.
The other day the Space Shuttle Atlantis landed in Florida. That flight ended the Space Shuttle program. What began with hopes and visions of a renewed journey to space ended with a whimper.
The expectations we have as children lead us to some of the greatest disappointments as we grow up. The temptation is to grow cynical or disillusioned with life. Maybe all things are just hype, or spin, or special effects, and maybe there is nothing worth our awe and wonder.
Ravi Zacharias is right to say, “The older you get, the more it takes to fill your heart with wonder, and only God is big enough to do that.”


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