Charting Course: From Here to Eternity!

by Leanne Entermann, principal

The astronauts from Apollo 8 in 1968 were the first humans to turn the camera’s viewfinder back on earth from space. In doing so, they described an instant and profound shift in self-awareness. This mental clarity became known as the Overview Effect and was a repeated experience for each new space crew member and many of us watching our screens in awe at home.

So far-flung from everything familiar, humans gained an overwhelming sense of the fragility and interdependency of life on our beautiful blue planet.

Founder of the Overview Institute David Beaver recounts in the video Overview a comment made by one of the astronauts on that mission in 1968, to take a closer look at the moon:

“When we originally went to the moon, our total focus was on the moon. We weren’t thinking about looking back at the Earth. But now that we’ve done it, that may well have been the most important reason we went.”

In many ways, I see the victories and challenges we’ve faced as a College over my years at BAC as opportunities for growth and perspective change. There were several sharp, intake-of-breath moments that seemed immense and we, at times, felt insubstantial in the face of them. We wondered if we were equal to the task. 

But as believers in God and His power and love for us, we benefited from an overview effect that is older than this modern phenomenon of the same name. In fact, the psalmist tells us: 

"The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known." (Psalm 19:1-4)

We know how small we are, how dependent on God we are. However, we also have a sense of future that is precious and life-sustaining, and a sense of protection—that God holds us in the palm of his hand.

We have a bigger picture.

This bigger picture helps us master our fears. Fear that could well rob us of our potential if we don’t keep the bigger picture in mind, our vision for this College. It could rob us of joy, of incredible experiences and out-of-this-world moments. If we focus on fear, it prevents us from preparing adequately, gathering our resources, making wise decisions, and acting with precision and perseverance. Giving in to our fear prevents us from maintaining momentum and fulfilling the bigger picture, our greater purpose. 

I often think of how the astronauts must have felt on their launch into space. Despite that marvel of modern technology—the space shuttle—the craft they entrusted their lives to must have seemed like such a fragile oxygen bubble at times. With so many highly calibrated, moving parts, something could go wrong—and tragically did, on one occasion. Yet, despite apprehension, they held on to the vision, they trusted their belief in the mission. 

Our bigger picture, our belief in a God who is bigger and greater than all of this, gives us the confidence we need. As I reflect on my experiences here at BAC, I echo the words of the psalmist one more time: 

“Many, LORD my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.” (Psalm 40:5)

Charting Course is a series of principal's blogs in which Mrs Entermann shares topics and ideas that are significant to the future direction of our College. This is her final Charting Course as principal of Brisbane Adventist College.