Today is the 50th Anniversary of the first American space walk. At the time, it was seen as a huge step (and it was a huge step); something that had never been done before. But, on this day, 50 years ago, Ed White stepped out of his spacecraft over the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. He stayed outside for 23 minutes. Eventually, the commander of the flight had to convince him to come back into the craft - the experience and the views were so spectacular that I assume White didn't want them to end quite yet.
Now EVA (extra-vehicular activity) is much more common and is absolutely necessary for the work that is done in space.
As I listened to an NPR story this morning, highlighting the anniversary of the first space walk, I was reminded of John Wesley's journal entry that I posted yesterday. To leave the spacecraft in a pressure suit with a tether must have felt like jumping out of the boat - frightening and maybe an almost impossible task. And I think that's part of what Wesley felt before he started preaching to crowds in fields. It was against everything he had learned - everything he knew.
And yet he did it anyway. And it became a way of life that changed the world. It did it so often and with such regularity that as he grew older, and it was harder to do, he would preach from a chair - he had to keep doing it.
And so it is with us. What boat do we need to leave to continue the work of God in God's church?