I recently read Chris Hadfield’s book – An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. Most of us know Hadfield the astronaut – and assume that being an astronaut involves a lot of adrenaline, courage, all focused on the time from takeoff to landing.
But in his book, he tries to broaden our view of astronauts, so we don’t just focus on those few days in space. HE talks about a number of the practices that he’s used in his lifetime…all in preparation for going to space, and debriefing afterwards.
For example, he says he sweats the small stuff, always thinking about the details of how he’d react to an emergency before it happens. He touts the power of negative thinking – he would always spend hours going over his failures with others, to ensure they didn’t happen again.
He studied like crazy – his kids made fun of him for having more homework, and taking it more seriously than they did! All this, in addition to the need for physical fitness and wellbeing with constant trips to the doctor, trying to avoid illness and injury.
It wasn’t glamorous or easy, his life sounds like it’s been so single-mindedly focused on making it to space that it was very boring in many other ways, thanks in part to these practices.
Those kids of practices are what prepared him for his mission going to the space station, so when things went wrong, he was prepared.
This kind of thinking is valuable not just for space travel. Any big challenge needs preparation, and if the challenge is big enough, we need to learn new routines, rituals and practices well in advance, to change who we are in sustainable ways, focusing ourselves on being ready for the task ahead.
That’s why we’re exploring the book of Acts right now to understand the first followers of Jesus as pioneers, and figure out how they organized themselves as a church community. That was a big mission, and they needed some practices as well, to help prepare them for the challenges ahead.
Question: What kind of practices do you think would be essential to being a follower of Jesus?
Meeting with a Group? Your discussion questions are in this week’s Group Study Guide[permalink append=”#comments”]Discuss the Challenge[/permalink]