Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Personal Perspective in a Selfie World

   If we ever make it to Mars in the next five decades, there is a NASA spacecraft waiting there to greet us! Despite being built to stay in service for only two years once it landed in 2012, the Curiosity has performed so well NASA has extended its mission indefinitely, saying it could operate as long as 55 years. "We've already decided with this plan that we will continue to operate Curiosity as long as it's scientifically viable," says John Grunsfled, NASA's associate administrator for science. The nuclear-powered rover has enough plutonium on board to last 55 years, says Grunsfeld.
   That is a long time. What will it do, alone on a planet? It will be working. Along with sending massive amounts of data from the Red Planet, the Curiosity is able to send photos and videos. But like an American teenager, Curiosity is using the camera for something else: selfies. A selfie is a picture you take of yourself. This image was taken by Curiosity not long after it landed on Mars. 
   The only thing with the photo it took of itself - it couldn't do it alone. Because of the short distance of its arm and the particular lens it was using, the image required lots of work to 'stitch' it together. A team of NASA engineers spent hours using software to turn this image into something that actually looked like reality. 
   Are you with me? Sometimes our perspective is too close.  Sometimes we look through the lens and what we see is distorted. Most of the time, we are not able to gauge reality on our own. Actually, all of the time. It is a part of our human condition. We are fallen. We have blurred our vision and can no longer see things as they are. Like the Curiosity on Mars, we need other people and their software to help us. The people who do that are Christians (it's up to you to allow them to help) and the software is found in God's Word (the Bible is the most accurate lens through which we can see reality). 
   We believe that Epworth's mission is to connect you to others and to equip you with what you need to keep reality in perspective. Not every idea you have is right. Not every impulse brings God glory. Our personal perspective is sometimes poor. But, together we can see things clearly and continue to operate for good for decades into the future!

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