St. George’s House is a spiritual retreat on the grounds of Windsor Castle in England. It was begun by His Royal Highness Prince Philip and Robin Woods, then Dean of Windsor. Trish and I watched an episode of “The Crown,” the Netflix series about the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, that dealt with the founding of the retreat. St. George’s House was founded in 1966. The timing of the show put it in the summer of 1969, when America landed the first men on the moon, but used the two events to tell a story of personal crisis and growth in the life of Prince Philip.
The show told of Prince Philip’s awe at the magnificent achievement of men setting foot on the moon. In his younger life, he had been a soldier and a pilot, an adventurer, but was anchored to a life of basically being a support person to the Queen and doing charity work and appearances. He arranged a personal meeting with the three astronauts when they came to Buckingham Palace after their return to earth. He wanted to hear about the awe-inspiring experience they had just had. Instead, he met three men, worn out from a world tour, suffering from colds, who basically only did what they were trained to do. Their life in space was a rigid schedule of steps to complete a mission.
After his disappointing meeting with the astronauts, he realized he had been experiencing a personal crisis of self-worth and, even more so, of faith.
I was moved to tears by the program. I could sense Philip’s emptiness and longing, his search for meaning, his identifying with the wonder of that magnificent historical event, one that I watched live on television at a friend’s house in Shreveport at the same time he did in England. I was moved by the fact that at the time, the wonder of it was somewhat lost on me. I grew up watching the space race. This was a big event and exciting to watch, but in a way it seemed like just the next step, even if it was a giant leap for mankind. I think I was more moved seeing it on the program tonight than I was 51 years ago. I was moved, also, by the fact that the TV program handled the spiritual aspects of the story so well. I was moved by the fact that Philip’s emptiness, his searching, his struggle is one still shared by millions of people – people all around me.
And my heart cries out to do something about it.
I am in awe of the fact that the Creator, the Lord of all, the maker of everything that is, loves me. I want to share the the joy and faith and hope and love that I have in Christ Jesus. I want to truly, deeply, ever more deeply know and be a vessel for His love, so that others may know His grace and find joy, and give extreme, joyous thanks to God.
“When I consider Your heavens – when I see the view the astronauts had of earth rising over the horizon of the moon, the unique yet desolate landscape of the moon, and the vibrant blues and greens of planet earth – the work of Your fingers, the moon, the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” Psalm 8:3-4.
Consider (just be still a few minutes and think about) this: God, the creator of the universe, creator of all that is, sustainer of all that is, thinks of you. He cares for you.