It seems hard to believe. On Saturday, it will be the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong's walk on the moon. The worst thing, for the ever more fragile notion that I am young, is that I can remember sitting on the floor of my family's living room in Regina, Saskatchewan. I was just short of my sixth birthday. My father told me to watch our 19 inch (48 cm.) television very closely because this was an historic event. I remember hearing the words, "The Eagle Has Landed" before Neil Armstrong took his first step on the moon. Fifty years on it is one of the few global events that have changed my life forever- the destruction of the Berlin Wall, or the terrorist attacks of 2001,
The Eagle has landed. Landing seems to be an important thing. After a flight with turbulence, how good it feels to be on dry land. Being onboard a ship after a huge thunderstorm hits, how fantastic it is to pull along side the dock. Ship travel and air travel might be relaxing or unnerving for some. But only when we finally land can we talk about a successful trip.The landing seems to be the most important part of the trip.
A number of years ago, I was moving across country to start a new ministry in British Columbia trip. My car was fully loaded with my belongings. This made it difficult to change a tire when it went flat- I had to empty the boot of the car, replace the tire (with one of those emergency bubble tires that tell you to only drive for 10 kms), find a garage to buy a new full size tire. Then when got back on the road, the summer heat really increased. My car was pulling a very heavy load up and down mountains in mid thirty temperatures. The one mountain pass was so high, and I did not think the car would make it, but it did. Finally I started to make the final descent into my new community. I truly felt like Neil Armstrong when I stopped my car and made my first giant leap in my new town.
Sometimes it is fun to go out into the unknown. You step into your car, and just decide to take a drive. You don't have a destination in mind. And you just drive until you get tired. It is nice to do something spontaneous like that sometimes however, I could not do that all of the time. I like to know where I am going. Oh sure sometimes there are detours and you need to adjust, but generally I like to have a set direction. Like those Apollo 11 astronauts, I like it when I can say that the eagle has landed. It means, a least for a few seconds, I can say that I have arrived at my destination.
The thing is that we never truly know what our life's journey will hold. There will be ups and downs. There will be detours, There will be the occasional flat tire. The journey of life is never easy. May we appreciate these detours. May they be a learning for us. And when we do land, no matter how briefly, may we appreciate the fact that the Eagle has Landed. Blessings.