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Posts Tagged ‘carl sagan’

We lose the Story every day. It is continually being stolen from us by the Evil one – the ultimate desconstructionist. He twists and spins and pulls apart the truth until the fragments we have left are unrecognizable. Or we lose it ourselves in the marketplace of Vanity Fair. Bombarded by thousands of messages each day, every one of them marked urgent, we leave behind the truly important things, the only refuge for our hearts.

We must be more intentional about holding on to the truth. The spiritual pilgrims who aligned themselves with St. Benedict took this task seriously—far more seriously than we do, I’m afraid. A typical day in the lives of Benedictine monks began in the middle of the night, when they arose for the Night Office. No less than twelve psalms would be said, together with three Scripture readings, several hymns, and prayers. Sunrise brought the Morning Office, followed by six other breaks during the labors of the day for remembering: Prime, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers, and Compline in the evening. Seven times a day set aside for prayer and the recitation of psalms. Together with their night vigil, more than twenty-nine psalms would be said, not to mention numerous lessons, verses, prayers, and hymns.

Now, I’m not suggesting that we all adopt the Rule of Benedict. But think about this: these men left the distractions of the world to focus entirely on God. They lived in an environment designed to keep them standing before God, and what did they discover? That they needed reminders every hour of the day and night! Do we, who live in the hostile chaos of the world, think we can do with an occasional visit?

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The greater story is epic. It is greater than us, greater than our community, and greater than our planet. In comparison to the greater story, our earth is really just a pale blue dot.

May you this week believe and choose to live in the greater story, change your perspective, and see that every encounter, every meeting, every word is spiritual and has meaning far beyond what we could imagine or hope for. May you be captivated by this great story, because it is your story.

The Pale Blue Dot

On a pale blue dot
In a sunbeam of light,
Our tiny earth
Spins day into night.

Our dot is so small
In a universe so vast,
We think we’re immortal
Forever we’ll last.

We live and we die
In peace and through war,
We all exist on this dot
But do we love any more?

So who made this dot
And moved space through time,
To make the earth spin
On no more than a dime?

It’s so easy to forget
To remember it seems,
Our mote of dust
Suspended in a sunbeam.

Some content adapted from John Eldredge

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The Pale Blue Dot is a photograph of planet Earth taken in 1990 by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from a record distance of about 6 billion kilometers (3.7 billion miles) from Earth.  In the photograph, Earth is shown as a tiny dot (0.12 pixel in size) against the vastness of space The Voyager 1 spacecraft, which had completed its primary mission and was leaving the Solar System, was commanded by NASA to turn its camera around and to take a photograph of Earth across a great expanse of space, at the request of Carl Sagan. Subsequently, the title of the photograph was used by Sagan as the main title of his 1994 book, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space.

This is the “Pale Blue Dot” photograph of the Earth taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft on July 6, 1990.The Earth is the relatively bright speck of light in the blue circle about halfway across the uppermost sunbeam.

Here’s the caption from the photo:

This narrow-angle color image of the Earth, dubbed ‘Pale Blue Dot’, is a part of the first ever ‘portrait’ of the solar system taken by Voyager 1. The spacecraft acquired a total of 60 frames for a mosaic of the solar system from a distance of more than 4 billion miles from Earth.  From Voyager’s great distance Earth is a mere point of light, less than the size of a picture element even in the narrow-angle camera. Earth was a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size. Coincidentally, Earth lies right in the center of one of the scattered light rays resulting from taking the image so close to the sun. This blown-up image of the Earth was taken through three color filters — violet, blue and green — and recombined to produce the color image. The background features in the image are artifacts resulting from the magnification. (Source: NASA)

One word from this caption stands out for me – “coincidently”.  Really?  What are the chances of coincidently capturing an image of earth suspended in a sunbeam four billion miles from earth?  How could this be coincidence?  I think this famous photograph was captured just at the right time, in the right circumstances to make us think about our world. Let’s take another look:

Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. – Carl Sagan

Here’s my take on our home, our world, our earth, our pale blue dot.

Our Pale Blue Dot

On a pale blue dot
In a sunbeam of light,
Our tiny earth
Spins day into night.

Our dot is so small
In a universe so vast,
We think we’re immortal
Forever we’ll last.

We live and we die
In peace and through war,
We all exist on this dot
But do we love any more?

So who made this dot
And moved space through time,
To make the earth spin
On no more than a dime?

It’s so easy to forget
To remember it seems,
Our mote of dust
Suspended in a sunbeam.

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