Lift Off

FFF 8:3 (Mar 1962)

Lift Off

J. Boyd Nicholson

“5—4—3—2—1—zero—Ignition — LIFT OFF —” and with it’s unique roar, the eleven storey-high rocket, streaming liquid oxygen and belching fire, kicks itself free from the dust and gravity of earth, with it’s capsule “Friendship 7” and it’s precious living payload … a man, bound for space.

Let us, ordinary folk, to whom apogee and perigee, quantum physics and the wonders of telemetry mean next to nothing, be careful lest among our pygmy thoughts there should be found a pride of ignorance. Let us never treat lightly the courage and ability of those men, such as Colonel Glenn who pioneer at the risk of a flaming death.

Yet as we think of the experience of this brave man, it is hard not to make comparison, or rather, find a contrast between him and the humblest child of God.

Another “Zero” hour will surely come, when there will be a “lift-off,” the likes of which, no technician has ever seen nor scientist calculated.

At the sound of a trumpet, a shout, a voice, likely unheard by all except those who are heaven-bound, that lowly and unknown saint, with all believers will leave the earth.

The Astronaut leaves, driven by the flaming power of propulsion. The saint will leave, caught up by the mighty power of attraction.

As Colonel Glenn hurled skyward, he remained the same, but that lowly saint will be changed. His body will now be a spiritual body, independent of the blood and breath of life. Untrammeled by the chains of gravity it will soar heavenwards.

The Astronaut looked out his capsule window, and was heard to say “The view is beautiful.” What will it be for that simple believer in Jesus, caught up, when for the very first time, with eyes from which the mote of mortality has been removed, he will look into the face of the Man of Calvary?

Perhaps he will use those words, as never before, “Yea He IS altogether lovely.”

The weather will not delay that event. World politics will not affect it. There is no doubt that it shall take place …

“The trumpet SHALL sound . .”

“The dead SHALL be raised …”

“We SHALL all be changed …”

“So SHALL we ever be with the Lord …”