Have you ever wondered how astronauts fly up into space to rendezvous with a space station or other orbiting objects such as the Hubble space telescope? It is an incredibly difficult task. Let’s listen in to scientist Palmer Bailey as he articulates the challenge:
"The basic problem is that both of the rendezvousing objects are in individual orbits around the Earth. The shape and size of a spacecraft’s orbit is determined by its velocity. Thus if you try to speed up to catch something travelling ahead of you in the same orbit, you change your orbit and then are no longer in the same orbit . . . Therefore, if you are in orbit behind your rendezvous target and try to speed up to catch it, what actually happens is that your increased speed is used up raising you into a higher and therefore slower orbit and you fall farther and farther behind. You must slow down, thus dropping into a lower but quicker orbit until you are ahead of your target, then speed up at just the right rate to go into the higher slower orbit as the target craft catches up to you. It’s pretty tricky to get that timing just right."
Jonah 1:12—He answered them, “Pick me up and throw me into the sea so it may quiet down for you, for I know that I’m to blame for this violent storm that is against you.”
God told Jonah to go to Ninevah—it was an illogical order to the prophet because the Assyrians were a wicked people and did not merit God’s mercy. So Jonah logically fled in a boat headed in the opposite direction to Tarshish. God, who sees all, sent a storm to capsize his wayward servant. Recognizing his sin, Jonah then gave an illogical command to the sailors as seen in the verse above. Throwing someone into the sea does not make a storm go away! Hmm. But it did in Jonah’s case. By logic when Jonah entered the stormy sea, he should have drowned. But God calmed the waters and illogically saved him by having a great fish swallow him. Logically, a man dies inside a fish but God illogically kept him alive for three days and nights and then had the fish spit him out alive onto dry ground. Now here is the really fun part, it is illogical to believe the book of Jonah really happened and is not just an allegory! But if we vote for logic, we then consistently must hold anything in Scripture that is miraculous to be allegorical and by doing so we negate the resurrection and logically must reject Christ’s claim to be our hope for salvation. Do you see why man left to his own thinking is never able to rendezvous with God!
To rendezvous with God we have to do what seems counterintuitive. Jesus said in Mark 8:35, “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me and the gospel will save it.” It is illogical to die in order to live! Yet to fulfill God’s orbit for my life I have to let go of my program, my speed, my control and let Him lead me. Logically, I have not figured this out yet, but thankfully, I’m illogically learning!
Just as the instructions for orbital rendezvous may seem wrong unless you understand orbital mechanics, so God’s principles and plan for your life may seem illogical unless you can see things from God’s perspective. Trust Him. He knows a lot more about your life and what is good for you that any of us know about orbital mechanics.—Palmer Bailey
©2010 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)