Can you answer yes to these four questions?
- Are you a citizen of the United States?
- Do you have a Bachelor’s degree in engineering, science or math?
- Do you have at least 1,000 hours of seat time piloting a jet?
- Can you pass a NASA physical which also requires 20/20 vision?
If you replied in the affirmative to each of the four questions above, you are among the 3 million U.S. residents who meet the basic requirements that could qualify you to become an astronaut. Of these number, there were 18,300 people who applied to join NASA’s 2017 astronaut class.
A panel of 50 people reviewed each of the applications and narrowed the list to a few hundred. After more scrutiny, the applicant list shrunk to 120 candidates, and eventually the list was winnowed down to 50 who were called back for a week of interviews and more medical testing.
All in all, this 18-month process culminated with the selection of 12 individuals out of the 18,300 who applied. This means that only .00065574 of the people who applied were selected. I would be without hope, if God’s selection process were this stringent.
However, God does not extend an invitation to you on the basis of your IQ or physical condition; He invites you to join Him in spite of these: For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:6-8)!
Don’t worry about the odds or the percentages of being good enough to be part of the teams or to accomplish the mission ahead of you. When God calls you, he also equips you: God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us (Ephesians 3:20).
As you think about this, I also encourage you to think about John 15:16:
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.