The dream is alive: A passion for space #AprilBlogADay

Disclaimer: In this post, I share my passions, my dreams, and my faith. As you read it, you may decide I am completely crazy. Aristotle said, “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of madness.” Maybe he was right. This is also one of the most personal and revealing posts I have ever shared.

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See that girl standing in front of the lunar module model? She has a dream.  Maybe the dream began that day. It’s hard to say. But she has a dream. What is it? It looks a little something like this:

Dream Job Title Package: Astronaut from North Point Media on Vimeo.

She’s been chasing this dream for as long as she can remember. A dream of space, and stars, adventure and exploration. It’s a consuming passion. Not all consuming. She still has balance in her life, but she is on a path that she is sure will land her among the stars one day.

Which is kind of crazy for many reasons. Do you know the specific requirements for becoming a NASA astronaut? There are many from physical conditions to education and experience. She doesn’t meet some of them. She’s too short, her eyesight is too bad (at least that’s fixable these days), and she has asthma. She’s also clumsy. Really clumsy.

But that hasn’t deterred her because she knows. She knows. She knows that one day she will float in space among the stars.

How does she know? Because her life path has already led her on unimaginable adventures. She studied micrometeorites for science projects and fell in love with astronomy. She went to Space Camp. Twice. She’s floated in microgravity. Floated! Just like they do in space! Who gets to do that? This girl. She walks outside on a cold, clear night, and looks up. She sees the stars, the moon, and she knows. She knows. She knows that she will visit there one day. She can feel it in her bones, in her heart, in her soul, in a tiny whisper on the breeze.

She loves space so much. It’s her passion. She’s the crazy science teacher down the hall. The one who wears a flight suit just because it’s Friday. The one who can weave space into a lesson about anything. All the students know they can ask her any question about space and get an answer. (They also know that’s the easiest way to get her on a tangent during class!)

She knows she’ll get to space one day. She just doesn’t know how.

That girl?

MGX

She’s me.

I realize it seems a bit unlikely. It seems crazy to have such a passion; such a dream. For a long time, I would have agreed with you. But lately, as I have been exploring more, researching more, and growing in my faith, I’ve been reminded of a few things. Like

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4

and

Now unto him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20

I think God gives us dreams and passions. If we let him, he guides our lives towards the perfect experiences. During a recent sermon series at my church on Dream Jobs, I took notes from Pastor Jeff Henderson’s sermon (part 2):

  • You have a unique race that you were called to run. How do we find it?
  • God’s thumbprints on you are clues about his plans for you.

I believe my career in education is a dream job. However, I also think this burning passion in my soul to explore, discover, to see and experience space is also from God. I think it is just one leg of the unique race God has called me to run. I have had so many amazing thumbprint clues in just the past few years. Here are some of them in no particular order:

  • Seeing the launch of STS-132 from the press site
  • Seeing the launch of STS-135 (last shuttle launch) from the press site
  • Seeing the launch of Curiosity/Mars Science Laboratory from the press site
  • Visiting all three Mission Control centers at NASA Johnson Space Center
  • Space Academy for Educators
  • Advanced Space Academy for Educators
  • NASA’s Teach from Space MicroGravity eXperience
  • Students interviewing a scientist live on NASA TV
  • Students talking to an astronaut in space through amateur radio

The experiences merge my passion, my love, and my career. I am able to share my love for space with students. In fact, this fall, I will be teaching a research based astronomy class where students won’t just learn facts and figures about astronomy. Instead, they will become astronomers.

So what is my passion project? Obviously I am passionate about education and STEM and making a difference in students’ lives. But one of my deepest passions and loves? Space exploration and the faith that I have in a God who will one day create a path for me to get there.  I am just crazy enough to think I’ll have a chance to be a part of space exploration. To go to space. To see it for myself one day.

Maybe I am a little crazy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Dare Mighty Things!