Last week millions around the world witnessed an extraordinary event. Another launch of the Blue Origin. The flight. The inhabited vessel’s return to Earth. That was amazing.
However, in my view, what was truly extraordinary was not successfully completing another historic mission. Rather, it was William Shatner, the 90-year old famed actor of Star Trek, who was so emotionally overcome with the experience that he could hardly utter a single word. There were no lines of a script William Shatner could’ve read which could adequately describe what had just happened. Just think about that for a moment.
In a post-mission interview, William Shatner said he had written prepared remarks to provide the media. Those remarks were abandoned, jettisoned like the New Shepard rocket booster as the vessel continued its climb heavenward.
William Shatner told the world that, as he looked into outer space, he saw darkness and death. At age 90 I can understand having thoughts of death and being mortal. Can’t you? Next, he spoke about looking down from the Thermosphere through the thin fragile protective membrane of blue to the Earth. He witnessed an epiphany of sorts. He saw the same old Earth with a new perspective—from God’s viewpoint to see a living, breathing planet inhabited by His children. The planet he had been gifted by God is full of life, light, hope, and love.
After his tearful, emotional interview, he was asked on the Today Show whether he would like to go on another trip on the Blue Origin. He said, “No”. William Shatner said that he wanted to keep the vividness of his experience as brilliant and undiminished as long as possible. He feared that another trip might lessen the lesson of the preciousness of what he had on Earth. He never wanted to lose that. The perspective of his own life now had a view from a different lens. An unexpected previously unappreciated way to view the life he had been given. The life he wanted his children and grandchildren to experience after his own death.
I mentioned these thoughts to my good friend, Mark, this week. Mark said, “God puts people, things, and experiences in our paths to give each of us perspective in life.”
What or who has God placed in your path to find perspective? What value and meaning have you gained from such a perspective?
God did not give me polio or paralysis. But through grace, the gift of prayer, and God’s love I discovered an equally profound experience and perspective without boarding the Blue Origin as William Shatner did.
At six years of age, I went to a dark place and stared death in the face. In that darkness I found hope. I saw the light. I saw a glimpse of God’s living angels around me. I saw through the lens of polio the purpose of my suffering. Eventually, I found my calling to serve others in dark times as a Collaborative Divorce attorney.
God has spoken to us in Scripture about how He views us from above.
The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment.
He rules the world in righteousness and judges the peoples with equity.
Let us pray together.
Dear God, I thank You for the things, people, and experiences You have placed in my path which enable me to view my life and others as You do.
God, in prayer please help me, with renewed vision and perspective, to live my life more fully and love others more deeply.
God, in prayer please invite me to look at all aspects of my life as You in Heaven view me as Your child.
May I keep my walk of faith firmly planted on this blessed Earth. May my heart remain focused on the greatest journey yet to come—eternal life and love with You in Heaven. Amen
If you like this prayer, please share.
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Jack H. Emmott is a Senior Counsel of Gray, Reed & McGraw, LLP, a 145-lawyer full-service firm in Houston, Dallas, and Waco, Texas, a Board-Certified Family Law and Master Credentialed Collaborative Law Professional Divorce Attorney, Mediator, Author, Entrepreneur, and Inspirational Speaker. For more information about Jack or his latest book, Bending Angels: Living Messengers of God’s Love, go to www.BendingAngel.com.
Michael A. Craig says
Jack, lovely written. I don’t blame Shatner for not making a second trip. How many of us have ever experienced or witnessed a phenomena for the first time and it being magically wonderful, but upon returning to experience or witness the same thing again, it simply wasn’t the same? Like that first kiss we got at age 16. Nothing is quite like that magical moment again. I’ve sung the Mozart Requiem many times, but I would give anything to return to my first time I sang it, and the magical quality of discovering it anew.. Any number of astronauts said of their first experience to see the earth from space that it was emotionally overwhelming for its beauty and vulnerability. The atmosphere is a very thin envelope around the planet. We need to take care of it. Pray to God that we have the common sense to do it.
Jerry Lyle says
I too, watched as Mr. Shatner was trying to explain the experience and tears came to my eyes as this accomplished actor struggled to speak. While others were playing in a gravity-free environment, he was transfixed by the sheer beauty and fragile orb, we call planet earth! It was clear to many of us that he had, what had happened was an epiphany of the highest order! Thanks for sharing this moment and also for sharing your considerable God-given gifts to all of us.