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Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Trusting God

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in discipleship | 3 comments

Science Fiction, Space Travel, and Trusting God

Have you ever heard of Frederik Pohl? He’s a science fiction writer. When I was in high school, I read a couple of his books: Gateway and Beyond the Blue Event Horizon. I recently ran across these two books (and two other books in this same series) in a used bookstore, so I picked them up and read them (again).

The books revolve around an asteroid that had been turned into a space station by an alien race that had since disappeared. This station included hundred (thousands?) of space ships. The humans learned how to start the space ships and found out that the ships went to predetermined locations. They would then return to the space station when started up again.

People would pay to take trips on these space ships. Why? Because a corporation would pay good money for any alien artifacts that are found and returned by people who take this space ships.

But, there was a huge catch. You see, they did not know where the ships were going or how long it would take to get there. Once they started the ships, they could not control them. So, they were stuck on the ship until it stopped. And, what if their supplies ran out before it stopped? Well, then they would die. It was as simple as that.

However, many, many people were willing to take these space ships to unknown location – with the possibility of dying on the trip – for one simple reason: to make big bucks.

As I read through these books again, I realized that this is the life that God has called us to. Who is “us”? All of those who are his children. If we are God’s children, then we are called to follow him wherever he might lead us… even if we never actually get “there” – wherever there is.

Of course, those space travelers had one goal in mind: to make money. It didn’t matter where their space ship took them, they wanted to find alien artifacts and bring them back to sell them to the corporation to make huge profits. In fact, they considered their trip to be a failure if they did not find artifacts.

As God’s children, we should have a similar attitude – not to find alien artifacts and make money. Instead, our goal is to help people grow in their understanding of Jesus Christ and in following him – wherever we are or wherever we go or whoever we are around.

Interestingly, I almost think it would be easier to convince people to board a spaceship to an unknown destination with the promise of lots of money than to convince Christians to follow God wherever he sends them in order to help others follow Jesus.


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  1. 2-6-2012

    I think you are right – ‘making a whole pile of money’ (while having a bit of risk and some fun space travel) sounds a whole lot better than a hard life preaching the Gospel! It shows how our perspective in life has really ‘fallen’ into utter selfishness..

  2. 2-6-2012

    You know, I’ve been reading a lot of things today that seem to have a similar theme. In light of the recent problems my wife and I have had with some we thought we had community with, and my growing disillusionment with church, I wonder if maybe God is trying to tell me something. 🙂

  3. 2-7-2012

    Drewe and Fred,

    Thanks for the comments. I’ve been amazed at the way that God can teach me important lessons through media that was not intended to be “godly”. 🙂