I read earlier this year that more than 78,000 people have applied to take a one-way trip to Mars. The nonprofit organization financing the expedition expects to get 500,000 applicants by the time the application window closes at the end of the summer. Individuals selected will travel to Mars for the purpose of colonizing it. They will not be able to return to earth because of the physiological changes that will take place in their bodies.

New Martians will spend their days building greenhouses and infrastructure, along with studying the atmospheric and geologic history of the planet. When I was a teenager, my parents gave me access to new territory, like staying out past midnight, only after I had proven that they could trust me within the existing bounds. We really think that because we have the will and might to go somewhere, it is ours for the taking.

Is it really possible that after thousands of years of wanton destruction of the Earth and its inhabitants by those with power, influence, and money, we think we are ready to start over again on a new planet? The arrogance is so astonishing, it must be a set-up for some catastrophic and karmaic event. If I believed in hell, I would be tempted to believe that we were living in it now, repeating an endless cycle of insane exploitation species by species, person by person, planet by planet, millennium after millennium. So I have to remember that in this puppy-riddled deluge, the jobs of reconciliation are not all mine. Jesus leads me into communities of disciples, and through the Spirit, we discren with them where and how I serve.


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