“Let this be written for the next generation,
for a people not yet born,
that they may praise the Lord…”
On clear nights, we all occasionally look up at the sky and get lost staring at the stars above. But they’re just twinkling dots, and that’s all they’ll ever be to us. Of course we all know that we’re looking at the light of galaxies and heavenly bodies unfathomable distances from us, but when all is said and done, down here on Earth those stars are just dots we’ll never see any more of.
In 1977, scientists launched the Voyager II space probe out into our solar system to get a better look at some of our closest neighbors and their moons. Two years into it’s voyage, it reached Jupiter, and two years later passed by Saturn. It wasn’t until 1986 that it reached Uranus. And finally, over a decade after leaving Earth, the Voyager II reached Neptune in 1989. Over the course of it’s journey, it has sent back many beautiful pictures of worlds we’ll never see, like this picture of Neptune.
Here on Earth, Neptune only looks like a bright speck in the night sky. Even with a decent telescope it still only looks like a glowing blue fuzzball.
Compare those two pictures. Look at the detail and beauty in the picture from Voyager II. If you had only ever seen the Smurf-shaded blob in the second picture, would you even believe it could be that breath-taking up close? In truth, that view is one that none of us could have ever imagined if it weren’t for the launch of Voyager II nearly 40 years ago.
We can learn a couple of things from this.
You don’t see impossible things by accident. You can’t just throw a chunk of metal into the air and hope to get back beautiful images like the one above. It takes preparation. Sometimes that means planning and drawing out maps and consulting rooms full of experts and computers. Sometimes that means spending weeks, and months, and years in prayer. The unreachable destinations will remain unreachable without preparation.
You may never see those unimaginable things for yourself—but you can equip the ones who will. Just as scientists programed flight routes into the Voyager II, we’ve been given the opportunity to prepare other travelers for their voyages far beyond where we will ever go.
Jesus knew He had this opportunity. On His last night with the disciples before His death, He told them that they would do greater things than He did after He had gone. Jesus had spent the last few years with these men preparing them for the amazing things they were going to do once He was no longer with them physically.
We have these same opportunities all the time. God places people in our lives, and it’s up to us to take the time to develop deep, God-centered relationships with them. In this way we pass on what God has given us, and expand our reach far beyond what we can hope for. By passing on our own faith and being intentional in the way we interact with others, we become part of their mission, and even though we may not go with them, we’ll be a part of all the wonders God does through them.
This is why it’s vital that we reach out beyond our circle of peers and develop relationships with people of various age groups, with backgrounds, viewpoints and dreams different from our own. When we do this, we expand our reach and the Kingdom of God grows wider and deeper at the same time.
So how are you reaching out to people older or younger than you?
How are you sharing your dreams and experiences with others?
How are you helping prepare and share in someone else’s dream?
This weekend, we have a great opportunity to reach out across the lines drawn by generations and build new relationships. Friday night we’re gathering for Overflow. It will be a unique time of worship together with the 29:11 family—a diverse group of people from different places, with different stories, who belong to different generations, but are part of the same family because of the power of the Cross of Jesus. We invite you to come worship as we grow closer to God, and grow closer to one another and celebrate with the family He’s given us as we voyage through this universe and beyond!