This may surprise you, but Neil Armstrong and I actually have a lot in common. Well ok; maybe not a lot. But we do have some similarities. I like to tell people that I was born the year that the US landed on the moon. In fact my birthday was March 17th 1969 just a few months before Armstrong’s historic first step. Obviously Armstrong liked to fly and he actually earned his flight certificate even before he had his driver’s license. I can’t claim that kind of accolade, but I still love to fly. Even though I’m in my early 40s I still try to stick my head into the cockpit to look around every time I board a plane. Neil became an Eagle Scout in 1947. I entered the ranks of the Eagle Scouts in 1985.
But I think the real connection that I have with Armstrong is that we are both men who believe in a God who created the universe. The news media has said very little about this and honestly it may just be because Armstrong worked very hard to stay away from the camera and the public eye. But Armstrong acknowledged the existence of God and what many people are not aware of is that both he and Aldrin took communion with each other before leaving the Apollo lem module and stepping out onto the lunar surface on that historic day.
We can and should learn much from this humble leader in American History. We should learn from his example of hard work and dedication. We should learn from his example of exploration and visionary spirit. But I also believe a huge lesson for us today is to remember that God and science are not opposed to one another. God is actually the author of science and many of the great minds of the western world believed that science was simply figuring out what God has done in creation. Armstrong was one of them.
So . . . “Thank you Father for gracing us with the life of Neil Armstrong. Thank you for his example of hard work, hunger for exploration, inquisitive mind, and humble spirit. Thank you that I’ll be able to see what he saw someday on the other side of eternity and be able to hear first hand of that great walk on the moon you created for us to explore. Help me to follow that example. Help us all to never settle for mediocrity but rather to strive for excellence. Father of heavenly lights, help us to keep a humble heart and to always remember You and Your greatness from which all good things flow.”
If you were alive in 69, where were you that day?
Also, check out the words from the crew on Apollo 8. Enjoy!