Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Life On Mars

Space exploration excites me.  I remember as a child thinking how awesome it would be to be an astronaut.  Unfortunately for me the training required to become an astronaut included machines that go around and around and I don't do things that go around and around.  Merry go-rounds and any type of  carnival ride that goes around in circles makes me sick to the point of puking.  I've always been like that, so from early I knew the astronaut thing was out of the question.  Of course, I guess I could have aspired to be one of those guys who stayed on the ground and answered the call when the astronauts said something like, "Houston, we have a problem!"  Somehow when you're a kid though, that job doesn't seem quite as exciting.  However, even though merry go-rounds ruined my hopes of space travel, nothing could squash my interest in space exploration.

This week I've been really excited about NASA's latest adventure, the Curiosity rover.  This rover, that is said to be the size of a small compact car, landed earlier this week on the surface of Mars.  After traveling over 300 million miles through space, this rover is now ready to begin exploring the planet of Mars.  While some may not get all that excited about the first fuzzy picture sent back, I was blown away by the picture that clearly showed the wall of the crater the rover now sits in.

I'm not sure what all this rover will eventually tell us about the planet Mars, but I'm certain we are going to learn some really interesting things about a planet that we've all had questions about.  One of the main questions that scientists want desperately to answer is whether or not there has ever been any form of life on the red planet.  Curiosity is equipped with the tools not only to take pictures and videos but also to dig into the surface of the planet and take soil samples.  Instead of thinking of it like a rover, think more in terms of a scientific laboratory on wheels.  Trust me, at a cost of over $2.5 billion this rover is more than just a high end Kodak camera.       

Scientists really would love to find some proof of life as they maneuver Curiosity all over the planet's surface.  Proof of some one-celled organism is all they need to validate their hopes.  Personally, I think that would be absolutely incredible.  Of course, a discovery like that would probably lead to more questions than answers.  But, then again that's what keeps the wheels of science turning...questions that need answers.

While scientists are so pumped about the possibility of closing the book on the question of whether there has ever been life on Mars or not, for me that question has already been answered.  Of course, there's been life on Mars.  The very existence of Mars, points to the truth of a Creator.  Although, Mars may or may not have been home to some one or multi-celled organisms in the past, it's very origin and existence testifies of the life giving power of God.  NASA, scientists will be blown away should they find some proof of life, but believers should not think it abnormal to find some life form on any planet created by the Originator of all life forms.  I guess that what I'm trying to say is that proof of life on Mars is not simply found on or under its surface, but in the fact that its origin is found in the Giver of all life.  In other words, because Mars came from the Life Giver, evidence of this Life Giver is found in its very existence.    

Only time will tell all that we will discover from this newest technology from NASA, but I can't help but think that in the process of our discovery, how limited it shows we humans truly are.  Think about it, while we are on the cutting edge of something pretty remarkable here, Mars holds no secrets from our Creator.  Its surface, its craters, its core and everything about this planet is not only known by Him but its birth and its history has been written by Him.  While we get set to discover some interesting things about the planet, God doesn't need to explore this planet in order to know more about it, He only needs to remember.  He's been there, done that, and bought the T-shirt.  Mars is not a mystery to God, its the product of His handiwork.  If He knows the number of hairs on our heads, I don't think it's a stretch to say He knows every square inch of that planet.

Some may think, life forms on Mars may serve to invalidate what we know and believe about God.  I think it'll only reaffirm and strengthen the truths we know.  With every picture Curiosity sends back, I  discover a little more about my Creator.  I'm reminded about how awesome He is, and how small I am.  I'm reminded about how my knowledge of who He is, is always increasing.  I'm reminded of how all of creation carries with it the nature and very signature of God.  I'm reminded that if I'll stop long enough to take a long hard look, I'll see glimpses of Him everywhere.  


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