Cover Photo: NASA
“You don’t have to be a star, baby, to be in my show…” (1976) “You Don’t Have To Be A Star”. Recorded by: Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. Composers: James Dean & John Glover.
It’s called, 52768 (1998 IR2). It’s not named after an astronomer, or a mythical Greek god from ancient history, but rather a cold, non-personality number. Its title may reflect the unimpressive appearance as it tends to resemble a giant potato spud. Through a powerful telescope it may have a bit of light reflecting solar rays off its surface, but nothing as brilliant as a star. It lacks the synchronized rotations of the planets and moons. There are some which become mini-moons, caught in a planet’s orbit, but for the most part, they travel seemingly aimlessly in space. You might say, if it were a person with feelings, it would be an introverted loner, a Sad Sally. Let’s face it, she ain’t nothin’ to write home about…or is she?
First tracked by scientists in 1998, our friend, 52768 (1998 IR2), has been studied ever since, and for good reason. She’s a gigantic space rock almost the size of Mount Everest. She measures up to 2.5 miles wide and travelling at 19,461 miles per hour. A very impressive stone to say the least. What’s more impressive, is her current trajectory. Not unlike a nail-biting science fiction movie, this gargantuan potato-like stone is headed close to our own planet. NASA estimates it will pass within 3,908,791 miles of the earth. It’s way out there. Right? After all, the distance between the earth and the moon is a mere 238,900 miles. That may sound like a Herculean hurdle from here, but in astrophysicist’s standards, NASA considers 3.9 million miles a near miss. No doubt, everyone with a telescope will be out looking for it come next month, on April 29th to be exact.
I am unsure the size of the asteroid which hit us in the Yucatan, back in the day, but those seemingly in the know tell us it changed our entire planet. In fact, many believe it somehow killed off the entire dinosaur species. (I always thought it funny that the Yucatan Asteroid killed off Dino and friends, but not the balance of living species on the planet. Crickets to whales and elephants should’ve all be sunk in the impact as well, along with the nuclear winter which naturally followed. Oh, well. Of course, we are never to question scientific theory, right? If you do, the science police will come in the attempt to shut you down, until you agree to nod yes to everything they print.)
Nevertheless, NASA has sent out an asteroid alert. Even though this killer, almost the size of Mount Everest, will only visit our neighborhood. Still it is good to be alerted. A traffic alert is needed for an alternative route. A tornado alert is a must to warn people on the ground. Just ask the poor folks hurting in the Nashville, Tennessee area right now.
At the risk of appearing to be overly dramatic here, there is an alert of this nature written on papyrus some 2,000 years ago. See if this lines up with NASA’s description.
“…and something like a great mountain burning with fire was thrown into the sea; and a third of the sea became blood, 9 and a third of the creatures which were in the sea [f]and had life, died; and a third of the ships were destroyed….” – Apostle John – Revelation 8:8-9 (Now there’s some climate change for the record books.) It’s interesting that in the following verse (Rev 8:10) is a description of an enormous falling “blazing star” which poisons the planet. I will say, it’s not for the faint of heart if this planet is considered the highest treasure.
Some may not realize the significance of the writings of John in the scroll of Revelation. In fact, many try to ignore it altogether. A study of it requires one of understanding, so says its writer. The text defines it is an unfolding of times and events concerning the earth. John, the writer, was given strict instructions. “Write, therefore, whatever you have seen and those things that are, and that are going to come to pass after these things.” – Revelation 1:19 (Aramaic Translation Bible) In other words, the ending of the age is detailed. If you plan on a read, expect much imagery and foreshadowing within its pages. It’s not a good bedtime read for the kids. Alerts are a good thing. It means, it’s not happened yet. That’s a good thing. Most agree, knowledge is power.
How many times have you seen a personal asteroid headed your way, and you felt like all you could do is gaze at its approach? Maybe it was a mountain you were up against. You knew it was coming, you were alerted, your radar and telescope captured it, but all you could do is wait for the impact. Maybe it was a loved one, or a dear friend, who came to you with an alert about a person you were letting into your orbit. Maybe you disregarded their warning only to find yourself broken and damaged afterwards. It could be your body has been sending you alerts. You’ve not felt normal while wrestling with the idea of going to a doctor for a test or two. Many are in quarantine with the mountainous asteroid of Coronavirus. It could be that one day you hear a knocking under the hood of your car. A warning alert flashes on the instrument panel. After the mechanic does a diagnostic, you are alerted of a serious issue which needs to be repaired. In the end, we are left with the choice of heeding alerts, or ignoring them, sometimes at our peril.
“For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” – Jesus – Mark 11:23-24 (NKJV)
There are many moments in life where faith kicks in. Times of your back touching the corner behind you. Someone wise once said, “Prayer is a mystery”. Yet, sometimes, a wise person finds leaning on the mysterious unseen, is the answer.
Here’s to waving along Sad Sally.
Wandering stars, as scripture describes, are never sturdy and safe. But there is stability standing still on The Solid Rock within fuel for the race.
“…I Seek in myself the things I meant to say,
And lo! the wells are dry.
Then, seeing me empty, you forsake
The Listener’s role, and through
My dead lips breathe and into utterance wake
The thoughts I never knew…”
An excerpt from, “A Poem Prayer” – CS Lewis (1964)