Last night the sky light up in its annual Independence Day explosion. Blasts of color and whistling shoots of glittering snakes danced as they filled the air. Here in the good old US of A, that’s how we celebrate our freedom.

Something else happened last night as well: The NASA spacecraft Juno entered the orbit of Jupiter. It took five whole years for the probe to get there. And no one knew if it would successfully manage the transition into Jupiter’s orbit, but it did.

In the coming months we will have information and never seen before photographs of this amazing giant planet. The information itself can apparently be transmitted at light speed – a hugely quicker rate than Juno’s physical traveling. Five years for the probe to actually get to Jupiter, one hour for the information from Jupiter to get here.

There is an investment, it seems, of time, persistence, and detailed attention needed for a craft to reach its destination, and fulfill its mission. There are many choice points along the way, all of which must be navigated precisely and with care. The craft itself must be tended to with exactitude.

A zillion things can go wrong along the path to ones destination. As human beings, we often look at uncomfortable decision points as tests. If we are relatively positive about this whole journey of life, we see our paths, the forks in the road, and the thousands of decisions made, as “fated”: as somehow contributing to the fulfillment of our personal missions, even if we don’t always know the “big picture”.

We trust, or hope at least, 05jupiter_artists-master675 that somehow we will make it.

Juno could actually crash and burn under any number of mishaps. But is hasn’t, at least not yet.

It’s a miracle isn’t it?