I am deeply concerned  about a newspaper article. Evidently an asteroid was flying through the galaxy at 36,000 miles per hour. To put that in perspective that is approximately the speed at which people in Springfield drive down Memorial Blvd. The asteroid missed the earth by 279,000 miles, the equivalent of driving from Nashville to Memphis. Scientists called this event a “dramatic near miss” . . . uh, the asteroid, not the drive from Nashville to Memphis. Scientists call that phenomenon a “black hole.”

There is even a more terrifying aspect of these asteroids. Like relatives from Alabama they arrive without warning and are surrounded by a gas cloud. Out of this scary scenario arise three very disturbing questions. What is an asteroid? Why do people in Springfield drive so fast? Why are some relatives always surrounded by a gas cloud? As a Summa Cum Darling graduate of the Barney Fife School of Science, Sodas, and Juanita, let me attempt to answer the first question. I will try not to get overly technical in my explanation.

Thousands of years ago the earth was dull and void which created a perfect setting to form committees. Once committees were formed two planets  tried to maneuver into the same parking spot at Walmart and collided. They exploded into little pieces, called asteroids, sending them into orbit. (The asteroids,  not the committees. Committees don’t have to collide to go into orbit.) Like men sharing their golf stories asteroids are supposed to follow a predictable pattern. Sometimes, especially the females, they get busy talking or putting on makeup, and take a wrong turn.

A wrong turn can be as horrifying as an errant golf story. When the asteroids get out of their pattern and go berserk, nothing can stop them except large objects such as earth or a Church Constitution and Bylaws. It was one of these asteroids, one-third of a mile in width (about the same as laying 12 NFL offensive linemen end to end) that was headed for earth. As you would expect such a “dramatic near miss” caused an extreme scientific buzz, which is also another name for a haircut on people with an I.Q. above 140.

Near misses are everywhere, not just concerning asteroids and meteors. They’ve been with us a long time. Believe it began with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Do anything but eat the fruit. They ate the fruit. Oops. Near miss. Lot’s wife did almost everything right but at the last minute she looked back. Became the salt of the earth before it was popular.  Near miss. Rich young ruler kept all the commandments thinking that would get him eternal life. Nope. Near miss. Judas spent a couple of years at Jesus’ side, taking in all that was said and done. Seemed to be on target. Enter greed and 30 pieces of silver. Exit Judas, the poster child for near misses.

Turn the page to the 21st century. Times may have changed but people haven’t.  Probably have more than enough cults and religions to go around. Only God knows their hearts but it seems they all have one thing in common. Near miss. Sorry. To gain  eternity with God there are no points allowed for proximity. A near miss could be the difference between Heaven’s Gate and Hell’s Door. Dr. Garland mentioned John 3:16 in his message Sunday about how to become a Christian. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (NIV). There it is, and we would all do well to remember that it does not contain the word, “almost.” Just a simple statement . . . and a can’t-miss guarantee. 

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