As a former teacher I believe it's an event not to be missed.
Wait, I take that back.
As a human being I believe this is an event not to be missed.
You see, the Hubble ranks right up there as one of the most important scientific achievements ever made by mankind. The, "Hey, Misters Galileo, Newton, and Einstein! Will you please move over to make room in human history for Hubble!" kind of achievement.
Magnificent is the word that comes to mind.
But that "magnificent" thing was touch and go at first.
Because it looked like after all the billions of dollars spent and decades of toil expended by the best and brightest brains, Hubble was going to be a monumental, catastrophic failure.
You see, something was terribly wrong at the beginning. The pictures sent back by the mighty telescope were out of focus and fuzzy. Useless.
Epic failure even.
"It was impossible in the first place," they said.
"You eggheads were fools to even try it," they said.
"You idiots wasted all that money!" they said.
"Give it up and go home in shame!" they said.
I remember the derision and jokes in the media. I recall NASA scientists being referred to as "techno tutkeys."
But the turkeys didn't quit. Those best and brightest brains persevered through the pain.
And with all the extraordinary truth that Hubble revealed to mankind, maybe that's one of the most valuable truths of all.
Yes, the brains went to work again.
They decided to figure out how to repair it.
But, it turns out that making a service call on a delicate scientific machine the size of a school bus, that happens to be hurtling around the earth at tens of thousands of miles per hour, is not an everyday fix-it.
Yet, after months of mindnumbing brain work and backbreaking practice, the brains sent more brave souls out into space with a plan and a cosmic screwdriver.
Then the incredible photographs sent back to earth by the working Hubble took humankind's breath away.
One universal truth was revealed immediately.
An eternal principle that may not have been expected.
That truth is beauty.
Awe inspiring, incredible beauty.
Throughout the universe, beauty is everywhere.
In Genesis it says, "And God saw everything he had made, and behold, it was very good."
Apparently, "If there is anything beautiful, lovely, or of good report, we seek after these things," doesn't mean just here.
Another truth Hubble declares is that when Father said, "World's I have without number," He wasn't kidding.
Yep, eternal principles. That's what the Hubble sees.
Glorious examples of astounding intelligence.
Systems, plans, precise organizations.
Eternal births and deaths and reorganizations of matter into new stars and galaxies.
Galactic engines spinning billions of stars throughout the universe.
All of it clothed in beauty.
So this is what I see when I look at those incredible pictures.
Evidence of eternal principles everywhere.
Worlds without number still being prepared.
God and his infinite love for his children.
It's all there in the Hubble pictures. Look.
Did Father use explosions to create these things? I don't know.
I do know that human beings sometimes use explosions in the building of bridges, dams and highways. Usually when they need to move a great deal of material quickly.
I also know that Father is the most masterful mathematician, engineer, artist and astronomer in the universe. I don't question his methods.
So where do human beings fit into all this mind blowing immensity?
Well, the scriptures also say that among all of God's creations, man is his most magnificent creation of all.
They say we are all children of God. The one who created all this. That we are a part of the plan.
Sometimes I've had a little trouble with grasping that eternal truth.
Mainly because looking around at humanity, the word magnificent doesn't always come to mind.
It doesn't always come to mind when I look at myself either.
But once I had an experience that made a great difference to me.
I can't explain it except to say that I know from where the message came. I'd like to testify of it publically.
It happened as I was looking at a favorite coffee table book on space. It was filled with amazing photographs from the Hubble.
I was looking at a photo of deep space.
The Hubble's camera had focused for several days on a single spot of sky that appeared to be completely dark.
After time passed, the dark space filled with spots of light so far away that light hadn't been able to reach the camera with normal exposure.
The lights appeared to be stars.
But the spots of lights weren't stars.
They were galaxies.
Each galaxy containing, among many other things, millions of stars.
All in a spot of dark sky.
I suddenly felt incredibly overwhelmed. Insignificant.
But then came this feeling. This undeniable impression.
YOU MATTER IN ALL OF THIS!
WHAT YOU DO IS SOMEHOW IMPORTANT IN ALL OF THIS.
Your victories matter. Your personal triumphs over evil, laziness, stupidity, habit, despair, whatever isn't light, matter.
On this one single planet, in this single solar system, in this single galaxy among billions of others, in this vast universe, whenever you choose truth over error, something is helped.
That was the feeling.
I don't know how or why it helps, but I know it does.
I testify to you of this.
We matter to Father.
He created all this and we are the most precious of it all to Him.
So, in honor of Father's great works, and of the brains, courage and perseverence of a few of His most magnificent creations, "google" the Hubble website and be prepared to be awed.
Maybe have a kid sit beside you when you do.
Be awed together.
|NASA Goddard Space Flight Center|