Pale Blue Dot

By on June 6, 2016 in News & Musings

PBDEarth seen as a pale blue dot from below the
rings of Saturn by NASA’s Cassini probe.

 

 

Zion loves her neighborhood. Sometimes we’re  focused on the gardens nearby, our next door neighbors at ZOOM, dinner on the lawn, and the school down the street. These are beautiful places to witness and love, but it is also good to back way up for a fresh perspective. In the midst of political divisions, cultural insensitivities, racial injustice, and nations at war it is easy to feel jaded about the world and unsure about our unique purpose in the midst of big things.

Until a few months ago, astronaut Scott Kelly was Station Commander for the International Space Station. He lived in space for a full year and would circumnavigate the Earth every 90 minutes! He posted pictures on Instagram of cities aglow at night, long rivers and vast deserts, hurricanes and twilight. From that vantage, everything was precious and interconnected. Everything looked both vibrant and fragile. People from all over the world followed his photos and felt united by these images of the planet we share.

On the days we are uncertain about our purpose or feel too weary for a call to action, we can still marvel. We can still stand in awe of the place invites us together in wonder of the One who created us with a word. Carl Sagan wrote this piece almost a quarter of a century ago, but it still holds true today.

 

The Pale Blue Dot

“From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here, that’s home, that’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there—on the mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam…it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, 1994

May this summer bring fresh perspective and moments to marvel. And if your own sense of purpose is curious or discerning, join us on Fifth Wednesdays after dinner this summer. Visit www.zionchurchmpls.org/recovery for more information.

Thanks to Brad Langley for suggesting Pale Blue Dot.

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