ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Movie Parables: Apollo 13

Updated on August 28, 2009
“Houston, we have a problem.”
“Houston, we have a problem.”

Our Faith's Finest Hour

My son and I, caught the Apollo 13 matinee feature in the mid-nineties. The movie was as intense and heart stopping as the critics said it would be. I believe I was just about my son’s age when this manned flight to the moon took place in the month of April 1970. Here is one of those trying tales that gripped the hearts and imaginations of people the world over. Many stood in all-night vigils by their television sets for the latest broadcast, while others knelt in prayer as the reports continued to trickle in. What was to be a routine, by-the-book mission to the moon, became an adventure likened to a box of chocolates: NASA never knew what they were gonna get. Upon experiencing the fatal explosion of their oxygen tanks, which blew the outer panel of their service module, everything started to go downhill. The astronauts aboard the Apollo 13 immediately radioed Mission Control and reported, “Houston, we have a problem.”

During this moment of crisis, Gene Kranz, NASA’s Flight Director, didn’t want theoretical calculations or ballpark estimates. He demanded real answers to real problems. For everything that could go wrong was going wrong: an adequate supply of oxygen was lost, carbon dioxide poisoned the cabin air, icy temperatures were endured to conserve energy, navigational equipment was damaged beyond repair, a faulty heat shield and parachute system was questioned, and the threat of a typhoon loomed upon their entry back to earth. Time was of the essence, precious power was fast depleting, the spacecraft was severely crippled, and the astronauts had no choice but to tear up the Official Flight Plan and fly their sinking ship by the seat of their pants. Yes, the space program may have lost the moon, but they weren’t about to lose these men. Every back-up man and every back-up plan was forced out of the woodwork. And this, ironically, was to be NASA’s finest hour: the success of a failure.

From the Christian’s point of view, we lost Eden but God wasn’t about to lose the men and women trapped in a runaway planet called Earth. From being in Paradise to being paralyzed, we careened through space, without a prayer’s chance to return to God. We were doomed to destruction. From the fall of Adam and Eve to our present day failures, life on this planet has given us one hell of a ride. But God in His wisdom has given His spirit to the past heroes of the faith and those of today. Men and women who are willing, in their weakness, to navigate their lives in this wounded, wretched world and dare to fly in the face of failure. By faith, we threw out the human flight plan and trusted in the Divine plan of salvation. In the midst of the chaos and confusion, we take comfort in our Flight Director, Jesus Christ. He is the object of our faith, the anchor of our souls, and the eternal reference point who will guide us home. We consider Him who endured such hostility and overwhelming odds in our struggle against the deadly damage brought about by sin.

As we look to Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of our faith” (Heb 12:2), we do not grow weary or lose heart. In a world gone astray, Jesus’ presence in our lives is like a precious, life giving tank of oxygen in a vast and sinful space. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. But through faith in Him, we continue to conquer kingdoms, administer justice, obtain promises, shut the mouths of lions, quench raging fires, escape the edge of the sword, win strength out of weakness, become mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight (Heb 11:33-34). Faithfulness, not success, means that you forge the ultimate frontier of faith; failure means you die to self in order to live this life of faith with the whole world watching beneath the great cloud of witnesses. Faith’s finest hour will be celebrated by the saints who, hopes against hope, together reach the final and common destination: heaven on earth.

Apollo 13 (Universal Pictures, 1995) written by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger (book: “Lost Moon”), screenplay by William Broyles Jr. and Al Reinert, and directed by Ron Howard.

© 2009, Gicky Soriano. All rights reserved.

Recommended reading:

Basic Christianity
Basic Christianity
John R. W. Stott defends the fundamental claims of Christianity and defines the proper outworkings of these beliefs in the lives of believers. Here is a sound guide for those seeking an intellectually satisfying presentation of the Christian faith. Price: $1.25 List Price: $6.00

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)