To Boldly Go

On September 8, 1966, a modest new series began with these words: “Space: the final frontier.” Little did the producers know that the science-fiction show they were debuting would become a major cultural phenomenon. It would spawn three additional TV series and a number of successful movies. It would add phrases to our vocabulary. It would breathe new life into languishing convention halls.

I’m not a trekkie. I will admit that there have been a few times in my youth when I’ve parted the fingers in my upright hand and wished long life and prosperity on someone. And I’ve been in occasional situations where I’ve felt as insecure as the unnamed extra member of a beaming-down party – you know he doesn’t stand a chance. But at the risk of receiving a few Klingon curses, I must say I’m not a devoted fan.

But I love the phrase, “…to boldly go where no man has gone before.” It’s a great summary of creativity. It has an intriguing combination: there’s the risk of leaping into the unknown, but there’s a determination about it. It’s not half-hearted. There’s courage in this quest.

What about you? What’s your family’s frontier? Into what new territory can you confidently stride? Frankly, I’d match up the challenges we all face with those of the Starship Enterprise any day. They think they go boldly? I’d like to see Captain Kirk manage getting a hot-cooked meal on the table in between soccer practices. Or tackle Target on Black Friday. Or simply walk barefoot across a Lego-strewn floor in the dark of the night. I can just hear him responding in his odd, clipped speech: “It’s…just im…possible!”

There’s uncharted space all around you. Is there a town nearby you’ve never visited? Or some music you’ve never sampled? Perhaps there’s a person in your church your famly could get to know. A book you could read together. Maybe your frontier is to finally have a regular devotional time together.

Whatever the challenge is, don’t make it your final frontier. For a creative, growing person, there is always ahead another unknown area to explore. Our kids need to see us as adventurers, courageously trying new things, stretching ourselves, pushing the limits of our comfort zones.

So find your own little patch of the unfamiliar, and stride into it.

Warp speed ahead!

Bruce Van Patter

all material ©2005 Bruce Van Patter