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Psalm 19:1-2 *The Sky Is Not The Limit—A Tribute to Commander Chris Hadfield

It’s an old expression that I used to hear quite frequently when I was younger: “The sky’s the limit.” In other words, you can do anything; there is no limit. From our perspective standing on the Earth, the sky seems to be a very long way up, and it seems to go on forever. But Colonel Chris Hadfield has a different perspective.

Chris Hadfield knows what it is like not to limit himself. He decided when he was 9 that he would like to become an astronaut, and since then he has chosen activities and school programs that would help get him there. Now, people all around the world have heard of Colonel Chris Hadfield, many hearing about him for the first time as the astronaut who tweets from space. As a Canadian who has lived in Southwestern Ontario, I have been hearing about him for much longer. He was the first Canadian to walk in space, and the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm. Today, March 13, 2013, Chris Hadfield becomes the first Canadian to command the International Space Station.

This is what Commander Hadfield has to say about limits: “Anybody who thinks the sky’s the limit is not thinking very clearly. The sky is incredibly thin. I’ve been above the sky. The sky is this paper-thin sheath around the world, and almost everything that exists lies beyond the sky. And it’s only our imagination that keeps us from going there.”

Scientists who have studied the universe, and astronauts like Chris Hadfield who have explored it, know that there is so much more to it than we have yet discovered or than we can comprehend. But we do have enough information already to know that it could not have been created by human hands. Lord Kelvin observed that “if you think strongly enough, you will be forced by science to believe in God.” But even the psalmist David could see that. In Psalm 19:1-2, he said that the heavens declare the glory of God and reveal His greatness.

The heavens declare in a language that we all speak. Even the best communicators can't do that. Commander Hadfield speaks several different languages, and he is a natural teacher. He imparts scientific and technical information in a way that is easy to understand, but he does not communicate in all the languages of the world. The heavens themselves declare the glory of God in a way that anyone can understand if they will just open their eyes to see. Day after day, and night after night we can see the vastness of the sky: the sun, the moon, the stars the clouds, thunderstorms and snow. So many different elements can be seen by the human eye and even more with powerful telescopes, but even from the perspective of the International Space Station we can see only a small fraction of what God has created. The next time you doubt that God is all-powerful, look up.


*The title of this post comes from a documentary about Chris Hadfield that is available for purchase at the Crossroads estore.

You can follow Commander Hadfield on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr.