It’s the end of an era in American history, and I’m sad.
The space shuttle program has come to a halt and Discovery, the oldest shuttle in the fleet, has landed for the last time in Washington D.C. where she will stand proudly on display at the Smithsonian Institute. One Fox News commentator said she was wearing her wrinkles well, and I agree. She was the third shuttle built and said to be the most reliable of them all.
I’ve been watching her final flight remembering the many times I stood with my homeschooled children in the middle of our street waiting to see the shuttle clear the trees. I never tired of it even after my children were no longer home to watch it with me. It amazed me how on a clear day we could see the twin rocket boosters disengage from the shuttle and fall burning to the earth below. Many times we drove to the coast to see the launch live in order to feel the rumble as we watched the shuttle lift off. I often prayed for the men and women aboard, especially after witnessing the Challenger explode in the sky in 1986, or seeing Columbia break into pieces as it entered the Earth’s atmosphere in 2003.
As a native Floridian, the space program has always been a part of my life; we felt the joys and mourned the losses. One thing is certain, there would have been no space program without the ingenuity of the men and women who made it happen. They worked hard to help make America’s Space Program the best in the world. So a big thanks goes to them today.
I don’t know what the future will look like without a space program for America. Will we lose our standing in the world as a leader in space? Most likely, we will. It feels as if we’ve lost a good friend. In fact, watching the news this morning reminded of the many presidents I’ve seen laid to rest. It was like a funeral procession took place in the sky. This is a time of transition for our country. A time to say goodbye to one way of life and embrace a new way. But the new way isn’t yet known, so it is hard.
What does this have to do with marriage? Nothing really, except maybe to inspire us to keep working hard at making our marriage the best it can be. Like those who worked faithfully year after year to make NASA great, we have no idea of the places we can go, the things we can learn, or what we can become unless we try. Let’s resolve until we take our last breath to be intentional about our relationship so when it’s all said and done, those who know us best will remember our marriage and marvel at what God did in and through us.
May we wear our wrinkles well.