There are some odd people. Every time some new space probe is launched or arrives at a new object in the sky, they are quick to complain about the expense. When there is talk about sending people to Mars or beyond, they will quickly comment, “We should solve our problems here on Earth before we start gallivanting about the universe.”
Perhaps they are attempting to sound compassionate. In fact, they simply sound like idiots.
But then people do this all the time in their day to day lives, too.
“I need to get my career going before I…” and then fill in the blank.
“I can’t have children yet, I’ve got to …” and again, fill in the blank.
There always seems to be something standing in the way of children, marriage, buying a house, or whatever else we might be putting off because our lives are not yet perfect. But the hard reality is, to quote John Lennon, "Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.“
No one is ever ready for marriage. No one is ready for children. If we waited for our lives to be perfect before we got married or before we had kids, the human race would have died out thousands of years ago.
Jesus commented once “The poor you will always have with you” (Mark 14:7). His point, of course, is that there will always be things that need our attention. But we shouldn’t let those things that need fixing stop us from anointing Jesus with perfume before his crucifixion, or to criticize those who do it.
It’s rare to hear anyone say, “I can’t go home yet—I’ve still got paperwork to do.” If it’s five o’clock on a Friday, they’re out of there.
Or, “I can’t go to the movies, I’ve got to vacuum the carpet.”
Or, “I can’t watch TV tonight, I’ve got to take care of the homeless in my city.”
It’s like the person who says, “I’m 45, if I go to college now, I’ll be 49 before I finish.” True enough, but if you don’t go to college, in four years, you’ll still be 49.
John F. Kennedy gave a speech in 1962 at Rice University. He said, “We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.”
He didn’t deny that there were many problems needing our attention. He agreed. He just didn’t think they should stand in the way of going to the moon. He believed that we could go to the moon while we did the other things.
Start your life today; don’t put it off until everything is perfect, or you’ll never start your life at all. There will never be an end to our problems. So why let them stand in the way of reaching for the stars? We really can sometimes multitask.
So which is better: to have our problems and sit on Earth, or to have our problems and stand on Mars?