I just watched the landing of NASA’s Perseverance on BBC. An amazing accomplishment. Katty and Christian were all excited about it. Everyone they interviewed was celebrating and grinning from ear to ear. As I was watching the people in NASA’s control room, I couldn’t help but notice some words on the wall: Dare Mighty Things. But when all was said and done, I couldn’t help but wonder – why not Dare Mightier Things?
Dare Mighty Things
To be sure, sending the Perseverance Rover to Mars and successfully landing it was a mighty thing. So why am I saying Dare Mightier Things? Let me start with what this seems to be about, based on the people speaking on BBC.
Beyond “just” landing the rover, it’s a search for life. Most of us probably think about life as being people. Or little Martian aliens. Something that at least has intelligence. But that’s not the case here. They’re looking for evidence of life that existed more than 3 billion years ago. More correctly, that might have existed more than 3 billion years ago. Maybe. The feeling is that the building blocks for life existed. But as yet, there’s no evidence that there was actually life.
And by life, they mean microbial life. Something likely too small for us to see with the naked eye. Oops. No intelligence either. No space aliens. Not life as most of us think of it. Life in the scientific sense, but not what we normally consider life to be.
Is the Perseverance mission mighty enough?
It would be a big deal to find microbial life. And yet, is the goal mighty enough? What do I mean by mighty enough? I don’t mean going to Saturn, which is farther away and therefore more challenging. Not even to another solar system. Nor to another galaxy.
In large part, these missions take place within the lifetime of everyone working on them. None of them have ever found real physical existence of life. And yet, we keep looking.
Furthermore, for any one person’s life, they participate in some number of missions, and then they (hopefully) retire or (sadly) some die during the mission. These are just facts of life. But they do indicate dreams. Things people dare to do. And, as I said, they do dare mighty things. But can you begin to see where I’m going with dare mightier things?
Dare Mightier Things
The goal is to find evidence of life, any sort of life. But the goal must come to an end, one way or another. Missions have a finite length. Our lives here on earth have a finite length. But if we dare to do mighty things by searching for life during our lifetime, why not dare mightier things by knowing the actual answers to our quests?
How do we do that? How about by removing that finite length of our life? That’s daring a mightier thing! And we do know how to do that.
Ge 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
This tells us that God created our universe and everything in it. And, by the way, it also tells us God created time.
But there’s more.
The Word Became Flesh
Jn 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
Jn 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
Here, also in the beginning, “The Word” is Jesus. This view is kind of like God the Father being the CEO – and Jesus the Son being the one who actually carries out the wishes of the CEO. It’s a theme that runs throughout, not just here. So we see Jesus as the part of the Trinity of God as the One who actually created everything. Literally everything in our universe.
Verse 5 is where I get the idea of Dare Mightier Things.
5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
This is telling us evidence of God is, literally, all around us. And yet, most of us don’t see it.
I get it – that we don’t see the evidence as evidence of God. This is, after all, a fallen world and we’re tempted to experience all sorts of things to lead us away from seeing God. That’s another theme that runs throughout the Bible.
Why don’t we want to Dare Mightier Things?
However, what I don’t get is why so many people don’t seem to want to dare mightier things.
Think about this. So many people spend so much of their lives working on things like the Perseverance Rover mission. And lots of other people spend a lot of time keeping track of what it’s doing. And even more people are just plain fascinated by it all.
But we seem to OK with all those wishes, desires, dreams and the like come to an end. Worse yet, come to an end with no conclusion! Why doesn’t everyone with such an interest in something like searching for life also want to actually know the answer? I mean know to the point where we’ll Dare Mightier Things in order to find out.
Dare mightier things like absolutely want God to exist. Dare enough to want to search for God even more than we want to search for life? The Bible promises us that we can live forever with the creator of literally everything! Why don’t we want that certainty more than we want the likelihood of failing to get an answer at the end of our mission – or the end of our life.
Why do we settle for failure when we can be assured of success?
As John puts it, why do we settle for darkness when we can have light?
Why do we “only” dare mighty things when we can dare mightier things?