On January 28, 1986, I was a freshman engineering student at Georgia Tech. The space shuttle program was the hero of most engineers, and the explosion of the Challenger at 11:39 a.m. that morning took many of us by surprise.
Of course, just before the shuttle exploded, our hopes were not riding with the first teacher in space, but with the future of space travel. Books about possible trips to Mars or new inter-galaxy probes lined the bookstore shelves.
But, all of that changed when the shuttle disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida, only 73 seconds into its flight. While seven crew members lost their lives that day, many, many engineers and engineering students lost their hopes and dreams.
In other words, that was a pivotal moment in our tech history.
As followers of Jesus Christ, we must watch for these kinds of moments. They may affect people on a national scale, like the Challenger explosion, or they may be more localized. But, we must be ready to offer people hope. I was not ready that day. My hopes were built more on technological and career advances than on Jesus Christ.
I thank God that 15 years later, when another disaster occurred that affected Americans on a national scale, I was ready and I was able to point people to the hope they can have in Jesus Christ.
Where were you when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on January 28, 1986 at 11:39 a.m.?