In these days of Gemini 6 and Gemini 7, newspapers, radio, and television are filled with detailed accounts of the wonderful accomplishments of our country’s space scientists and astronauts. This is in itself not so bad, for undoubtedly these accomplishments are interesting and newsworthy.
But along with all the news accounts and play-by-play descriptions of these events there comes a constant barrage of editorial propaganda. And the keynote of all that propaganda is the pride, or vainglory, of life. Man has conquered space. Man’s scientific achievements have reached new heights. Man has achieved a historic rendezvous in space. Man this, and man that. Man . . . man . . . MAN! This is all one hears and reads until, figuratively speaking, one could almost vomit!
My purpose in calling attention to this is not to belittle the event as such, nor to debunk scientific achievement. Undoubtedly this rendezvous in space was somewhat of an accomplishment when viewed from the viewpoint of puny little man. It is probably an instance of one of the greater accomplishments, scientifically speaking, that have arisen out of man’s “remnants of natural light.”
But let us, as children of God, keep our perspective.
In the first place, has man actually conquered space? Or is it much rather true that he has merely succeeded in exploring its fringes and in making a few temporary forays into the great reaches of the heavens. And is not his very necessary return to the earth in itself proof that he has not conquered after all, but is conquered? In the second place, does man so soon forget his failings even in this realm. Was it not only a few days ago that a mere little plug prevented him from leaving Pad 19 at Cape Kennedy? And did he not also discover an insignificant plastic dust cover in an engine which would have doomed his mighty machine to failure and destruction?
But, in a deeper vein, does not all this boasting remind you, of a past day, when a mighty. Nebuchadnezzar boasted, “Is not this great Babylon that I have built?” or of another day, when men in the plain of Shinar vaunted themselves against God and said, “Go to, let us build us a city and a rower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name . . . . ?” Or does it not remind you of the coming day when “all the world shall wonder after the beast?”
Let us keep our bearings.
God is not in all the thoughts of those vainglorious men who speak great swelling words of vanity. If this were not evident from anything else, it would be evident from the fact that they desecrated the sabbath by attempting to launch their Titan on the Lord’s day. And was it not a bit of poetic justice that they failed on that day too? Personally, I cannot help thinking that.
Let us not lose our perspective.
With all his mighty achievements vainglorious man is unable to save his wretched soul, much less to rescue his world from the vicious cycle of “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity and vexation of spirit.” In other words, his vainglory is indeed vain, empty.
And is this not Scripture’s judgment? “For all that is in the world. . . . .(including) the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof.”
Children of God, be not enamored by the vainglory of man!
And “love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.” For: “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”