ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Boy meets Great Beyond

At a school science fair in 1939, I won a small medal for a diorama showing man's ascents to leave Earth's grip. It showed the small progress made at the time by balloons, gliders, planes and Zeppelins. My diorama represented 100,000 feet of alti...

 

At a school science fair in 1939, I won a small medal for a diorama showing man's ascents to leave Earth's grip. It showed the small progress made at the time by balloons, gliders, planes and Zeppelins. My diorama represented 100,000 feet of altitude. Many were certain that height was the maximum, never to be exceeded in space.

About that same time, an article also appeared in a popular science magazine that predicted that man could reach the moon in 500 years. This invoked a hurricane of ridicule but no supporters. Yet this accomplishment happened in 30 years, not 500. We are beginning to explore this solar system and have sent our first space vehicles out in expanding numbers to explore the Great Beyond.

Another puzzle that has provoked thought has been the presumptive age of infinity. How old, exactly, is Earth and its companions? Science predicts creation occurred in an instant and Scripture states it as several days, virtually identical timings. Current calculation say it was 4.6 billion years ago.

As a small boy in the country, lying in a vast field at night and watching the heavens blaze forth in glory as new clusters materialized in a massive canopy that filled the heavens, I would ever be amazed.

ADVERTISEMENT

People will remind us that no one is alive today who can figure out the next step in space explorations. Perhaps, but some new baby being born will see what others missed and provide that next step. So each step leads us forward, although each advance also triggers a new complex of missteps.

Is this act then moving toward a bountiful future? Emphatically, no. The problem is humanity itself with contracting interests devoid of compromise, war often spreading and then exploding before mechanisms of peace, slow to respond, can counter the fury.

At the end of life, I am again a small lad lying in a fragrant meadow at dusk gazing up at creation bursting from darkness to glory and mysteries and the reaffirmation of faith.

Paul Lampi is a retired Denfeld history teacher.



0000017d-fa0b-d169-a77d-ffff3cd40000

What To Read Next