If Only… NASA, Amy, and Youth

Sometimes the difference between an intricate, highly complex machine working or blowing apart is down to a simple, small component’s integrity at one single moment in time. NASA learned this lesson the hard way in both the Challenger and Columbia disasters. In both cases, the defective components were made months and even years before either shuttle was assembled.

As the symptoms of my MS have progressed, I am reminded of how “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139:14) each of us truly are. Despite billions of dollars worth of research, centuries of learning about the anatomy and physiology of the human body, and life-long careers devoted exclusively to trying to figure out what goes wrong to make MS activate, there is still so much we don’t know. In the early 1600s, German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler was correct when he described his study of planetary movements as “thinking God’s thoughts after Him”. This statement is true in every avenue of mathematics and science, especially in the study of biology.

Somewhere, somehow, some way, long before I ever had any symptoms of my Multiple Sclerosis, all the viral, environmental, hereditary, and biological elements were just right to kick this disease into action in the biological petri dish that makes me me.

My immune system got all confused and started destroying itself. Thanks to MRIs, I have seen for myself the white smears and dots scattered across my brain and spinal cord where tell-tale signs of damage can be easily seen. It remains inexplicable how it happened, but that doesn’t stand in the way of it being true. All my progressive, worsening problems with balance, walking, incontinence, dropping things, quick and excessive fatigue, tingling, and slow processing are all due to these white globs that made their initial marks nearly thirty years ago.

It’s staggering to imagine that such small blobs etched out so long ago have created the big problems I deal with every day.

Hmm, I feel a life lesson coming on. Sometimes it’s the little, but wrong, things we allow ourselves to do early in life that eventually turn out to be our undoing in the end.

If only someone would have checked the integrity of the O-ring on the right solid rocket booster before the Challenger took off, seven lives would have been saved. If only one day we could figure out what causes MS and how to stop it before other people’s neurologic integrity becomes comprised and they end up going through a progressively worsening disease process. If only we ourselves strove to live Godly lives and to teach the young how to choose right, so many lives would flourish and God would be glorified. If only.