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Looking Up

Today, Major Tim Peake became the first Briton to complete a spacewalk from the International Space Station (others have done so but with dual UK/US nationality).

Here’s my Thought for the Day for Radio Bristol about today’s events:

It’s very easy to look down at your feet – but some people make you look up.

Tim Peake is one of those people. He’s preparing to become the first Briton to complete a spacewalk which will be broadcast live on TV later.

I’ve never really been that interested in space. Going to see Star Wars is about as far as I’ve got.

But Tim Peake’s story has gripped me. It’s not just because he’s British – it’s not just because he is a great communicator – it’s not just that he describes his experiences as “just another day at the office.”

I think it’s because he is doing something  which does not just benefit himself but it expands our horizons too – he helps us to look up and see beyond our everyday experiences – and realise that extraordinary things ARE possible.

This week we have lost two other extraordinary men – David Bowie and Alan Rickman – who were both exceptional in their fields – men who helped us look up and see beyond the everyday, who through their particular gifts enabled us to see excellence and originality.

So who is it that helps you look up?

Jesus once looked up during a visit to a particular town and spotted a man in a tree called Zaccheus. Zaccheus was a crooked tax collector;  Jesus saw beyond his dishonest ways and believed that he could be a better person.  Zaccheus was so inspired by meeting Jesus that he gave back all the money he had stolen from his customers; and much more.

Jesus looked up and saw that Zaccheus had the potential to be a better person.  As we watch Tim Peake walk in space; as we give thanks for David Bowie and Alan Rickman; let’s also give thanks for those people, recognised and unrecognised, who help US to look upwards and outwards and enlarge our view of what humanity means.

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