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May 20, 2021

A Pastoral Word. . .

Pastor Mark Adams

May 20, 2021
Perseverance has been in the news a lot lately.  Even now this little robot is rolling around Mars giving us new views of the red planet.  It also launched the first helicopter/drone flights on another planet giving us a bird’s eye perspective of the real estate on our closest neighbor in the solar system.

The lift-off of NASA’s Perseverance rover was on July 30, 2020 and landed on Mars nearly six months later on February 18, 2021. Its mission was to seek for signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock for a possible return to Earth.

You would think that all the components of NASA’s Perseverance rover are new, containing the very latest tech.

Actually, that is not completely true. The Perseverance’s “brain” is a piece of technology from the late 90’s. A processor released by IBM and Motorola over two decades ago, in 1997, serves as the “mind” of the little rover.

The question is, why? Why use something old?

Well, the craft’s developers were more interested in reliability—perseverance--than in sheer power. Their solution was a G3 processor used in Apple’s Macintosh starting in 1998. Apple veterans remember the G3 fondly. It sped past older Macs with a processor operating speed that topped out at 266 megahertz (MHz). At the time we thought of that as “FLASH FAST!” Today's processors leave the good ole G3 in the dust. For example, the processor in an Apple iPhone 12 runs at 3 gigahertz (GHz). The problem is their reliability doesn’t keep up with their speed.

In our world we tend to think not just things, but people lose value as they age. If you doubt that consider how we use the word “prime.”  Young are “IN their prime.” Older people are “BEYOND it.” This story about the Perseverance illustrates the truth that just because something is old, doesn’t mean it’s not valuable, reliable. Some of the most reliable workers in any church would be referred to as “old.”

The greatest example of this principle is God’s written Word.  It’s old, written thousands of years ago, but it is still just as reliable as when the ink was wet on the papyrus. In Matthew 24:35 Jesus said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.”

And in Psalm 119:89 David says, “Your Word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.”

Wise people, old and young, build their lives on the rock-solid principles and precepts that are found in the Bible.  As the old hymn puts it, “all other ground is sinking sand.”

Keep the SON in your eyes!
Mark
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