Fifty years ago today, John F. Kennedy asked the nation to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.
With those words, he invested not only in the future America but of the world. I have no idea of what was really in President Kennedy’s heart fifty years ago, but my nine year-old heart was full of optimism amidst the confusing world of cold war politics on the evening news. Even after watching my brother destroy one sugar cube fort after another, I could not understand mass destruction, but a race, well that was something else.
In one sentence he created a vision of hope out of nuclear clouds of disaster. Both sides of the ‘iron curtain’ focused attention and funds to adventure and advancement and away from destruction and dread. I spent the next ten years in exciting anticipation. I followed the astronauts, cheering at their successes and crying when they died.
I clearly remember the day John Glenn circled the earth. My third grade teacher brought a television to school for us to watch this historic event. At time for recess she said we could stay and watch; I was the only one who did. John Glenn orbited the earth during recess. I thought it rude, to play and not stay to watch and honor his accomplishment. I held my breath between each earth station check-in.
When Neil Armstrong stepped on the moon in July, 1969, it seemed to me to be the perfect to start to my senior year in High School.
Looking back at that time, it reminds me of Jeremiah 29:11.
“’For I know the plans I have for you’ – this is the Lord’s declaration – ‘plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.’”
And it makes me wonder, what are we investing in today to give our children hope for their future?
What are you doing to invest in our youth?