This is the script of this morning's Pause for Thought on BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans Show with guests: Len Goodman, Danny Boyle, Idris Elba, Kirstie Allsopp and James Bay.
Did you know that today is the 43rd anniversary of the last time we landed a man on the moon? Yes, 11 December 1972 was the day and Apollo 17 was the mission.
I only note this because I was thinking about Steve Jobs and wondering what it is that makes the difference between people who trundle on through life consuming what other people create … and those who keep breaking the boundaries and creating new things.
Or, to put it differently, what's the difference between people who look at the moon and think it looks lovely … and those who look at it and wonder how to get there?
If I'm honest, I think the same when I watch Strictly and think about dancing with two left feet. Or when I admire a ruin that used to be a lovely home and then see someone imagine a new future for it. It's something about the way we see.
Now, I know that someone like Steve Jobs was fired by a driven curiosity. Problems were there to be solved and technology was there to be stretched. He once said: “What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.” Well, some would say it has become a sports car for our minds, given the speed of development.
I respect people who see differently. Or – and this might surprise you – who repent. The word for repentance in the New Testament literally means 'changing your mind' – or, in this context, seeing the potential others are blind to. Like feeling you're trapped and have no future, but daring to believe that this is not the end – that there is hope of what one writer called “newness after loss”.
When we get there this is what Christmas will be about. Down to the wire in a mucky world, but still looking to change it. On the ground, but looking up at the stars. Down to earth, but not bound by earth.
It's a while since we walked on the moon – something my kids read about in history books. But, I hope we can never forget that that was simply one small step for humanity. There might yet be greater leaps ahead.