Today, we had the honor of meeting Lutheran astronaut Colonel Jeffrey Williams. He has written a beautiful book, chronicling his time in space through photographs, for CPH–The Work of His Hands. The pictures in the book are beautiful, as you might expect, for Colonel Williams has taken more pictures of earth from space than any other astronaut.
Colonel Williams talked for about an hour about his experiences in space, and it was just fascinating to listen to him. I can’t believe how much I learned about life on the space station in such a short time! It was also very interesting to learn about the experience of riding on a Russian rocket ship–I was especially intrigued by his stories of landing in it. For some reason, I thought they still splashed down in the sea, so I was very surprised to discover that the landings are actually done on land!
I also enjoyed hearing him talk about his faith. He talked a lot about vocation, and discerning what God wants you to do with your life. I also appreciated his more practical approach to choosing a career. He flat-out said that the idea that you can be anything you want to be just isn’t true, which is something Ryan and I really believe, and talk about with our children. He talked instead about the importance of realizing what job God has for you, and doing that. Good, practical, Scriptural advice, and good for children to hear!
After his talk, he signed books. We already had a copy that we had brought with us, so we just waited in line a little bit, and then got to talk to him and have him sign it. I’m always excited to have an author sign a book, but having a book signed by an astronaut was particularly exciting!
I asked Colonel Williams if he would take a picture with Turkey, and he very kindly obliged. I think this was one of the highlights of Turkey’s life–he was actually speechless! It was a real treat for him to meet someone who is a real-life hero, and I think the events of the day helped him realize that his dream of being an astronaut someday doesn’t have to die just because the space shuttle has been retired!
“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1