Know Your Role

The room was tense. Everyone sat on the edge of their seat, trying to figure out why an alarm was going off. This is not good for a room full of inexperienced people. It’s really not good when those people are responsible for the inexperienced people on the space shuttle.

But I guess it isn’t a big deal when it’s a simulation, right?

That was the case several weeks ago when I took a group of students through the Astronaut Training Experience at the Astronaut Hall of Fame near the Kennedy Space Center. We spent several hours conducting experiments and going through simulations similar to what astronauts experience.

Our time together culminated with a shuttle launch simulation. There were 11 of us total. Six of us were in the control room, while the others were on a shuttle simulator.

We all had a script that we used to take us through a mission. We read our lines and did whatever the script told us(some days I wish life had a script. That would make things much easier.)

The shuttle launch simulation took less that 30 minutes, but it was a great example of team work. NASA is an incredible that relies on team work to get anything done. From trainers to mechanics to engineers, a large number of people must work together to make sure everything gets done.

Think about the wide variety of people involved to get a space shuttle in and out of space. Think of the different skill levels, intellectual capacities, and personality types. The lives of 7 crew members as well as billions of dollars are dependent upon everyone doing their job well.

How do they all work together, despite their vast differences? I think the answer is quite simple:they all have the same mission. Each person fulfill that mission in a different way, but they are all working toward the same common goal.

How often do we work in a group-at school, church, work, or even home-and we have a hard time getting everyone to work together? Could it be that everyone doesn’t understand the mission? That everyone doesn’t understand the ultimate goal?

As believers, our goal is the glory of God. That goal can play itself out in a number of ways, but it is still the goal.

If we are leading a group, it is our job to communicate how our work points toward that goal. As members of a group, we must constantly remind ourselves that what we are doing should reflect the goal of pointing others to God. If we miss that, then miss the whole picture.

Those on NASA shuttle teams have a seemingly bigger burden to fulfill the mission, but we must constantly remind ourselves that we are a part of the biggest movement this world has ever seen. God has chosen to use us to join with Him to spread His glory among the nations.

And to me, that’s way cooler than a rocket ship.

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