(I have been surprised at the number of encouraging replies I have received from this when I sent it as an e-mail, so I thought I would also share it here on the blog for the benefit of those who don’t get our regular e-mail updates.)
Apollo 1 display at the NASA exhibit in Budapest
“We are going to have failures. There are going to be sacrifices made in the program; we’ve been lucky so far. If we die, we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay the program. The conquest of space is worth the risk of life” (Virgil “Gus” Grissom). Recently we went on a home school field trip to attend a special NASA space exhibit here in Budapest. One of the displays had the above quote as it told the story of how Grissom and two other US astronauts died in a fire during a launch rehearsal for the Apollo 1 in January 1967.
The following morning I read a news article about the thrilling results of a trial in immunotherapy for cancer treatment where one of the trials had a 94% success rate. Tucked away toward the end of that news article was a statement that seven people who participated in the trial were sent to ICU and two died. In both of these situations—three astronauts and two cancer patients—people chose the risk and died in an effort for a greater good—conquering space and conquering cancer.
It made me wonder whether we as the Body of Christ are taking such risks for the greater cause of the glory of God and the eternal destiny of men. Do we hold those priorities in such high esteem that we are willing to risk everything, so that if something happens to us we would gladly say, “If we die, we want people to accept it. We are in a risky business, and we hope that if anything happens to us it will not delay [the spread of the gospel]. The [glory of God] is worth the risk of life.” This sentiment is found in the words of Paul: “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy and the ministry I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).