To explore strange new worlds…
Today I’m discussing a topic of great eternal importance, although it might surprise you to read about the Starship Enterprise on my blog about prayer.
When they were developing plans for the Starship Enterprise, the designers made a model and hung it from a string. When Gene Roddenberry picked it up, the model flipped upside down because of the imbalance in weight between the materials used to model the saucer and the rails. But he liked it and approved it anyway, as it was — the opposite of the way it was intended. Some of the sources I found online when I researched this story say it was approved upside down and kept that way, and others say that the designers were (eventually) able to convince Roddenberry to use it right side up, even though he preferred the design when it was turned upside down.
Either way, the thing to remember is that whether something is right side up or upside down is all in the eye of the beholder.
In our world, the phrase “upside down” implies that something isn’t right. That it’s backwards. The opposite of what is intended. We impose a kind of value judgment when talk about something being upside down.
But if there’s anything I’ve learned as I’ve written my book, it’s that — in God’s world — nearly every convention is flipped on its head. Nothing is as expected. The first shall be the last. Pray in private, not in public. The least shall be the greatest. Give up all your wealth now for a treasure that lasts. The King shall be the servant.
His ways may often be upside down — but they are, without a doubt, perfectly right.
So when things in my life seem a little topsy-turvy — when my hard-working husband loses his job with no warning; when the most nurturing, faithful woman I know spends years unable to conceive; when children die and tumors thrive and what was once firm becomes shaky — I try to remember the Enterprise.
Our travels may take us to strange new worlds. To places we never imagined. We may find utopian worlds or have to fight epic battles. But in the process, we will likely discover things we never expected to find. And we will see that maybe, just maybe, upside down will turn out to be right side up.