It's awesome to consider that we mere human beings are capable of concocting, designing, funding and executing the creation of a complex machine that can be propelled 350-million miles to, and carefully landed on, the planet Mars and send pictures back to us. Wow!
Unfortunately, the pictures aren't that exciting, are they? They basically show rocks, sand, dust and, now, tire tracks. (We've got plenty of these on our little planet. Were they hoping to see pictures of a filled football stadium?) In 1969, my grandmother said that the whole "moon landing thing" was a production by Hollywood. Now, we've got something on Mars!?
This is, however, truly promising! It's good to know that once we succeed in destroying each other on this planet that whoever may possibly survive could have another planet to go to - to try again.
Do you think this is what God has in mind?
Consider "where we are." The world seems to be going insane because man (human nature being what it is) is doing anything and everything he wants to do to his fellow man. When human life is intellectually and spiritually separated from its divine source, anything goes. People can slaughter each other, kill babies in their mothers wombs and fly airplanes into downtown skyscrapers with little, if any, remorse.
Nor does man seem to care a whit about what, if anything, God has in mind; primarily because there is no consensus anymore about who God is and what he/she/it really teaches. Such confusion makes it much easier to justify, rationalize and become worshippers of any opinion.
In the New Testament Gospel of Matthew, we're told a certain man approached Jesus Christ and asked Him: "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?"
In this day and age, we don't ask such deep, penetrating and probing questions to just anybody. No! We go right to ... Google! Try it. I did - and got 437 million results! Can you say "overload?!"
Psychologists, scholars, social scientists and "experts" are telling us we're all in desperate need of "tech breaks" these days - that, without our even realizing it, technology virtually is killing two of our most precious "commodities" - our time and our patience.
It's killing our time because whether it's a game, app or search for whatever, one leads to another, to another, then another and, before you know it, it's 3 a.m. (Tell me I'm wrong!)
And technology is killing our patience because we can execute complex business transactions in an average of 20 seconds then suffer road rage when it takes an elderly pedestrian 21 seconds to cross a street in front of us!
If we agree that this is true yet continue to pursue the very things that separate us, cause enmity between us, foster hate and hostility among us and which may ultimately lead us - collectively and individually - to our demise (perhaps eternally!) we need to ask why?
The question put to Jesus was "what good deed must I do to have eternal life?"
His answer was simple: "Keep the commandments."
Only attentive ears, attuned not to the noise of the world but the voice of the Almighty, will hear the right answer - and do it!
Others eventually may try to board the flight to Mars.
- Kovalak is the pastor at Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Loyalsock Township.