August 9, 2005…
Millions of people from all over the world awoke early this morning to watch the landing of the US Space Shuttle Discovery. As well, I was among them, eyes glued to our television set..
The scene was much different from the one from only two and a half years ago. I remember that day well…..my husband was at the barn and I was still in the house when the biggest sonic boom I’d ever heard broke the silence of our Saturday morning….the windows shook and the ground trembled.
At first it sounded like a huge explosion, which here in East Texas is not uncommon, given all the oil and gas wells around. But still, this was different. I immediately ran outside and as I looked up, I saw a vapor trail from what I suspected was a very low and very fast jet plane. James and I stood quietly as we watched the vapor tail spread out until is disappeared. There was some sort of a silence among the animals….even the birds remained still….
It was only after going back into our house that I begin to learn what had just happened….the phone rang and I heard my friend tell me that Houston had just lost communication with Columbia. I turned on the TV Set and there is was….the horrific news that what had now become a reality was unfolding right here near home….the days that followed were filled with unbelief and sorrow…..except for one very important fact….
Now, today, with much anticipation, we remained silent again, watching as the events unfold right before our eyes…we watched and prayed….there were no words spoken….
The final boosters, now traveling at 117,000 miles per hour the Discovery make it’s decent toward planet earth….we hear communication between the shuttle and Houston….everyone is still….very still….very quiet…not a word….
Still holding our breath we see the glow of the shuttle…then the outline, then the wings, the tail…..at last, Discovery is gliding onto the runway, landing gear down…..”touchdown”!……..the parachute opens, the aircraft slows down and comes to a stop….then we hear Mission Control call out the first name of each crew member, and then they say: ….. "Congratulations on a truly spectacular test flight,"
"Welcome home, friends."
Now then, let’s go back to that one very important fact about the Columbia crew. Those onboard that were Christians...the ones that had a life changing relationship with our Lord Jesus….they were the ones that received another kind of welcome…. They may not have completed their mission the way that planet earth expected, but they “did” complete “their” mission….and upon arriving HOME, and standing in the presence of Almighty God, hearing each of their names called out, they may have heard those very same words…..” "Congratulations on a truly spectacular test flight," "WELCOME HOME, FRIENDS."
Consider this…..only God knows when “your mission” is complete….will you be standing in His presence?
Will He call you by name?
Will He tell you that your mission was well done?
Will He be welcoming you Home?
Are you sure?