Photo posted by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18 KJV
This week we witnessed another ground (or sky) breaking achievement in seeing the latest vessel #Perseverance land on Mars. In chatting with a friend about this, we shared similar feelings and thoughts. It was awesome to see another leap forward in the human desire to learn and grow. But even greater was seeing the feelings shared among the NASA team as Perseverance reported a successful touch down on Mars’ surface. The expressions, shouts of joy, high fives, and overall unified spirit of accomplishment (especially after such a dreary 2020) was so powerful that even I became a little emotional 🙌🎉😭.
After watching, it became easy to write this week’s blog. I was reminded of the above scripture as it relates to how we think. In most things we try to do or think to do, there is always some notion of FAILURE. That’s because the most real definition of try implies non-guaranteed success. It is because of this that many people will try once and give up or potentially avoid trying altogether. They see the immediate failure and can’t picture the (not-immediately) visible success.
At this point, I’d expect you might be saying “Yeah, yeah, I’ve heard enough motivational speeches… I’ve seen the movie ‘Hidden Figures’… Tell me something new.” Well, that’s just the thing — there really isn’t much new for me to tell you… IF, that is, you have done something no one else has done already. And even if you have, plenty of people have done something unfathomable once… but how about twice in a life time? Or three times? Ten? Twenty?
This makes me like the name of the rover – Perseverance – because it fits exactly with what I want to convey. It’s definition is:
Persistence in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
In order to achieve delayed success, you have to see the success that does not yet exist (physically anyway). When the bible says “we look… at the things which are not seen”, it is a clear indicator that we (Christians) must keep our eyes on spiritual and heavenly ideas. Most people wouldn’t consider a successful Mars landing as “spiritual”, but seeing and reaching for something that is not already a physical reality, dwelling on it and testing it for years, convincing others around you that it’s possible (to the point that they open their pocketbooks and shell out 💲💲💲) — I’d say that’s more than just an idea.
It reminds me of a conversation I recently had with my wife. We like to debate 😊 (the closest we ever really get to a married couple’s “argument”). Our most recent discussion was over what kind of technology we’ll have in just 10 years. I argued that our daughter may not actually have to speak out loud to call someone on the phone… likely not even need to know how to use a number pad. I mean, how many kids even know what a rotary phone is? My wife on the other hand believes that while technology will advance quickly, the likelihood of “sub-vocalizing/silently giving commands” to phone a friend seems farfetched. While we won’t know who’s actually right until 10 years from not (me 😂), I can say this with full confidence.
Unless we are no longer here, things will be more advanced in 10 years. This, I believe, is another thing the scripture hints at. The things which are seen are temporal. It’s those unseen things that last forever. Dreams people have. Things that are hoped for (i.e. faith). These thoughts are every growing and will continue to be strived for.
So today I (re-)challenge you to as they say “reach for the stars.” Don’t stop with your current thoughts or dreams. Go for those and create new ones. Believe the impossible. Jesus said “Greater works shall ye do…” It may not be tomorrow, or even next week. Maybe your dream is to launch another rover in 6 months. Maybe it’s to release a talk-less phone in 10 years. Maybe it’s simply to gain the faith to believe that these things are possible. Look not at what’s right in front of you, but at what’s beyond the horizon. Seek the faith. Keep the faith. Apply the faith. Repeat. Then see the success God has in store for you.