Who holds the record for the most time spent in space?
Out of this World
Currently, it’s cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, who has racked up a total of 879 days in space (as of October 1, 2015) stretched over only five space flights. That’s 2.41 years in space, with his average space flight lasting nearly six months. By spending so much time traveling at 17,500 miles per hour scientists have calculated that he has projected himself forward in time by more than two hundredths of a second.
The former record-holder was cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev. He accumulated 803 days in space over six space missions. His 2.2 years in space at a velocity of 17,500 miles per hour also propelled him forward about two hundredths of a second in time.
But in a much more dramatic way Krikalev returned to a different world than what he had left. On his second space mission (Soyuz TM-12) which lasted for 144 days (May 18 – October 10, 1991) an attempted coup d’etat initiated the fall of the Soviet Union. While he was away his country underwent a massive upheaval. Sergei Krikalev began his flight a comrade of the Soviet Union but returned a citizen of Russia.
And how many Soldiers who have deployed to places on the other side of the world, for nine to 18 months, have also returned to different world? They painfully said goodbye to a family and friends that loved them and needed them. But when they returned it seemed like the world had learned to live without them. Others had taken their place – mostly out of necessity. Eventually, they adjusted to some of the changes or integrated back into the old roles and ways of doing things.
Reflection and Truth
Maybe you’ve recently returned from a long deployment and feel as though you’ve come back to different world. Or, maybe the world is changing so fast that you cannot keep up with it and you feel like an outsider in your own country and your own home.
But there is one thing which will never change – and it’s the most important thing. It is God’s love and care for you. God’s love for you will never fail, change, or waver – not one bit. The same tender love which skillfully and lovingly formed you in your mother’s womb, bore you as an infant, and guarded you through all your formative years will never leave you. And no matter how worse this world or you become, God’s love for you remains the same. In God’s loving embrace you will always find unconditional acceptance and all the approval and validity you will ever need as a human being. Why then do we run from the One who loves us? Why do we consider Him our enemy – who only has our best interests in mind?
We are like children who love to be chased by their parents and scream all the more wildly the closer our loving parents get to us. King David said God’s goodness and mercy are pursuing us – not His wrath (Psalm 23:5-6). Stop freaking and start seeking. Turn and face the God who loves you and yearns to embrace you. “The Lord appeared to you from afar, saying, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness’” (Jeremiah 31:3).
Dear Father in heaven, when I was at my very worst You loved me. When I made myself Your enemy, You loved me. Even when I have the blood of Your own Son on my hands, You love me, forgive me, and cleanse me. Please catch me and never let me go. I don’t want to ignore Your love any longer. For only Your love can save me, heal me, and satisfy my heart. Amen.