7 minutes of terror.
This is how NASA calls the the time it takes to a spacecraft to enter the atmosphere of Mars, slam the brake and hit the ground. That’s what Mars Phoenix Lander is going to face, next Sunday. Years of preparation and nine months of space travel will be decided in this 420 seconds in which the spacecraft will try to land safely on the red planet’s ground.
Peter Smith, from NASA, says he doesn’t feel confident, but in his heart, is optimist. Ed Weiler, associate administrator, said “everything has to go right. You can't afford any failures."
The story is from CNN.
Time is relative. Seven minutes may be too much when your team is winning, but too short when it’s not leading the score. It may be too few to enjoy a good moment, but too much for he who waits for a definition. But one thing is absolute: the ‘terror’ that reaches us when something very important goes derailed. Even more if it’s something prepared for months. Or a relationship from years. In a couple minutes, everything may be lost.
But differently from the Phoenix mission, our failures are not definitive. The 360 minutes of terror in which Jesus Christ hanged on the cross – the most important mission ever – assure us, for all the hours of our life, opportunity for a new begginning. To try again. To use well every second we have, specially for the things that are really important in our lives.
Once we are not a spacial mission, we have second chances. And we have a special mission - to share His love with people whose lives are about to crash. Sharing the news that for all failures there is forgiveness. For terror, there’s love. For living, there is faith. And that His directions strenghten us to take care of what really matters.
There will be a day when our life will be decided in a few minutes. How will they be? How great if we answer to that question by saying, with confidence: “A safe and perfect landing in our Father’s arms”