To Infinity and Beyond!

There are moments in history that are the “where were you when…” moments. Earth-shaking moments that write themselves into the human psyche. Sadly a lot of them are tragic moments – 9/11, Diana, Elvis, Senna. There are odd moments though that celebrate human achievement and the biggest of those was undoubtedly the moon landings in 1969.

I wasn’t around then (despite what some folks would have you believe) but I’ve seen the footage on numerous occasions and it gives me goosebumps every time I watch it.

Coupled with the NASA footage of Armstrong bouncing along the moon, are the black and white images of families huddled around their TV’s – kids on the floor, mum and dad sat arm in arm and grandma and grandad sat watching with wise eyes seeing what science and technology could deliver for good after seeing the destruction they brought in two world wars.

Over the past 10 years or so it’s felt like humanity has put the world into reverse with Concorde being grounded, the Shuttle being retired and plans for manned missions to Mars being scrapped. In fact it’s almost felt like we’ve settled on exploring the microscopic rather than pushing ourselves in ways that expand boundaries and take us to another level.

But there’s something about the human spirit that defies economic woes, that isn’t fulfilled by the minutia. Something within us that wants to see us going further, faster, higher or bigger. There’s that pioneer spirit that saw Columbus and Polo et al explore this wonderful planet we call home. There’s that conquering spirit that saw Everest and said “I can climb that” or sees the North Pole and says “I can walk there”. There’s the adrenaline fuelled mentality that see people strapped to rockets with wings, wheels or keels just to go faster than anyone has gone before.

It’s the human spirit.

It’s not always driven by logic (if ever) and it doesn’t always have a great benefit to humanity but without it we might easily still be sat in ignorance of the world around us, in fact we might well still be sat in caves doing nothing.

On October the 14th 2012 we witnessed another of those great moments as Felix Baumgartner floated up to 128,000 feet and the jumped from the edge of space to become the first human to break the sound barrier without any form of propulsion or vehicle.

In this instance there are genuine benefits to science, aeronautical safety and more but it still ultimately comes down to that innate human nature that wants to do it because no-one has done it before or to prove that we can push ourselves to beat previous endeavours.

What really cemented the moment as one of •those• moments was sharing it with my brother, sister, mum, dad and all of us. We started watching it on the laptop before switching it to the main TV and by the time the pre-jump checks were starting we had all gathered round the television with people sat on the floor, the sofa and each other. It was one of those moments when we collectively held our breath and where we all applauded as Felix walked back down onto land as if he’d simply jumped from the bottom step.

 We all felt nervous, excited, exhilarated, tense, inspired and amazed.
 I sincerely hope and pray that this isn’t the “moon landing moment” for our generation. I desperately want to be sat watching man step foot on Mars.
The human race is amazing. We’ve been created with a natural curiosity and desire to explore and I just love it. When we can all push towards something greater, something bigger, something that shows just how amazing we are and how awesome creation is.

Through it all – He is Holy

"When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don't panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. "

"When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don't panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end. "

At the beginning of the year nobody would have predicted the events that have been taking place in recent weeks, and that are still taking place today, as waves of civil unrest sweep across Africa and the Middle-East and event threaten to touch nations such as China. We’re not removed from it here in the UK either as rumblings against cost-savings, student fees, petrol prices and more lead to threats of strikes and “action” within our nation.

On top of this there have been the natural disasters in Australia and New Zealand, the on-going rebuilding of Haiti and Pakistan and the war in Afghanistan and conflicts in Iraq.

The situation in Libya has particularly shaken and scared me as I’ve read and watched the news of people being killed by Gaddafi and wondering just what atrocities his insanity will lead to. I’ve found my heart crying out and my soul shaken and unsettled, with the only possible response being to call out to God for His peace, mercy and endless Love.

Then one song struck home with me and made me realise that through it all, and even if we can’t see it, He is Holy. Gods heart breaks at the suffering and the hurting, and it’s hard sometimes to see suffering and equate that to a loving Father – but without getting into the whole debate over free will etc all I can say is that faith and personal experience speak louder than words to me.

Continue reading “Through it all – He is Holy”

Economic slowdown – for sure!

I have to give a wry, pained, laugh when I hear people saying that we are not heading for recession and that the economy is going to bounce back quickly – although admittedly a lot of commentators seem to NOT be saying that now.

I know 4 people, all of whom are heading (or are already there) for unemployment… unskilled? nope, small companies? certainly not for 3 of them, “luxury” industries? definitely not.

Continue reading “Economic slowdown – for sure!”