The Southern California flyover
A few hours ago, on Friday, September 21, 2012, my son and grandson walked a couple of blocks uphill from their home in El Segundo, California, to a site overlooking Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Six-year-old Caleb was taken from school to watch the historic final landing of the space shuttle, Endeavor.
They stood eagerly for several hours, flanked by nearly a dozen mobile TV units and thousands of neighbors. They waited for their eye witness view as the huge 747 carrying the shuttle did two flyovers then finally returned and settled smoothly onto the runway of LAX.
All morning crowds had cheered as the shuttle flew over landmarks: the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, the Hollywood Sign and Griffith Park, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Disneyland, and the Queen Mary in Long Beach Harbor. Emotions ran high everywhere as Americans and folks from England, Germany, and elsewhere choked up. They were watching an historic event.
Dave holding Caleb up
Knowing Dave and Caleb were there in person made the whole event personal for me. I watched by television from my living room, keeping son Dave informed by cell phone of the location of the shuttle and it’s anticipated time of landing.
I heard the choked up voices of TV reporters and man-on-the-street witnesses. The same ecstatic fervor of enthusiasm and patriotism had taken place when the various other shuttles ad made thei final landings in New York and Miami. These marvels of science and technology represent the amazing commitment of the American will.
As I watched and listened only moments ago to the touchdown, I too choked up. My mind traveled backward across time to 1903 when my great grandmother’s first cousins took their first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. When Orville and Wilber Wright invented the airplane they had no idea that American technology would create the 747, much less machines that would take men and women into space.
Landing at LAX
Truly the final landing of the final space shuttle is an historic event for all Americans. We should be excited; it is appropriate to shout, cry, wave flags, and hug one another.
My mind rolls forward in time – a time possibly very soon. Today’s deep emotional responses of joy and pride will fade into nothing compared to the thrill and joy of Christians when Jesus does as He said, “I will come again.”
Much like those standing today on hillsides, along beaches, and other locations waiting for a glimpse of the Endeavor, generations of Jesus’ followers have awaited His Second Coming. Are we the generation that will witness His return? My spirit leaps within at the thought that I will probably be among those who see Him break through the clouds in majesty. It won’t take hours of fly-bys in sequence as today; somehow every eye will see Him at the same time.
Imagine the commotion then, the shouts, the tears of joy, the sighs of adoration – as Jesus the Christ returns from Heaven as He promised. Can the human emotion stand such depth of feeling? We’ll find out soon.
Bev Caruso and her husband Pete have served the Lord together for over 50 years. They pastored two churches for a total of 35 years. From those churches they sent over 100 individuals into fulltime Christian service. They have preached or taught in 35 countries: They recently coauthored: Keeping It Fresh—A Love that Keeps on Growing based on the Marriage Enrichment Seminars they team-teach. The Carusos continue to teach and preach. They can be contacted at: Caruso@across2u.com. Or visit their website: www.PeteandBevCaruso.com