Space Man Billy

He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.

  • Isaiah 40:29-31

The artwork was painted by our younger son’s oldest child, Logan.  He was ten-years-old at the time.  He just turned 12.

It reminded me of a Cub Scout song that I wrote.  More of a chant, Space Man Billy.  Our theme for Cub Scout day camp that year was exploring outer space.  I was even able to get a “boy sized” NASA space suit.  We did not have a song to carry the theme for the camp (one thing that all the boys did together) until this thing came into my head in the wee hours of the morning before our first day or camp.  Yes, one or two hours of sleep before a very busy day.

“I know a guy.  His name is Space Man Billy.
He’s not too smart.  In fact, he’s kind of silly.
He goes to and fro, and everywhere he goes,
His _____ go(es) like so.
insert the following word(s) and motion with each verse, continuing each motion and adding the next, in the following order:
arms – putting hands at arm pits, flap your arms.
right leg – raise the right leg then place it back down
left leg – scratch and kick backward with the left leg
head – pop your head forward

Final verse:
I know a guy.  His name is Space Man Billy.
He’s not too smart.  In fact, he’s kind of silly.
He goes to and fro, … but into space?  He’ll never go.
‘Cause Space Man Billy is chicken!!”

  • Mark Rackley, Space Man Billy (for Cub Scout Day Camp about 1987)

The idea is that you are doing the “Funky Chicken” – sort of, at least a variant = by the time you are done with the various motions, wings flapping, scratching the soil with one leg, raising a leg as if to walk but not moving forward, pecking with your “beak.”

Six months after writing the “song,” our district commissioner in South Carolina (a volunteer) went to a nationwide outing for Scout leaders and a group from Illinois announced they had just learned a new song from a group in California.  They then performed Space Man Billy.  It was before the days of something going “viral,” but that was my time for it to happen.

But this painting seems to fly (literally) in the face of my old song.  Space Man Billy has overcome his fear of going into space, and he is soaring like an eagle.

The Scripture above mentions soaring on eagle’s wings, but notice the context.  It is talking about the weak among us.  It speaks of those who stumble and fall.  It talks about those being tired.

Do any of those words describe you?  God is the answer.  The Scripture speaks of “youth,” and I felt a lot more energy then than I do now.  I have illnesses that prevent a lot of energy being available.  My wife’s maladies are numerous and more life-threatening.  Her thyroid condition can zap her of her energy, if she had any energy to start with.  Her repaired heart, after open-heart surgery, slips into atrial fibrillation (A-fib) on rare occasions, and that robs her of energy.  And her recent diagnosis of end-stage renal failure also deprives her of energy.  She is not on dialysis yet, hoping diet and medicine changes will cause a rebound.  So, we both know what it is like to be tired.

My wife, in a vision, knows a little taste of what Heaven is like, but if we take Isaiah at his word in the Scripture above, we knew already.  We will soar on eagle’s wings.  We will run and never grow weary.  We will walk and never feel faint.  In fact, my wife said that the more she moved in her vision, the stronger and more energetic she felt.

Neither of us are throwing in the towel.  We are going to plug along, but just consider God’s promise.  Oh, how wonderful our new bodies will be!

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


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  1. This particular reader will say some prayers for you both! Keep writing (the silly songs are good too too) ! Ann

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Prayers are always welcome, as you have been among those on my prayer list, also. As for the silly songs, I hope to edit some videos, but with my wife’s health issues, my available time for such has shrunk. It will happen, but maybe not soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh my gosh— I love his art work Mark!!!— I am reminded of Marc Chagall — a Jew who created some beautiful Christian stained glass windows— he was Russian and his pieces are often biblical, dreamlike and beautiful — encourage your grandson to pursue this gift!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. And indeed prayers for your wife—- my thyroid is poor at best, my recent bloodwork, also not stellar as liver and kidney functions fluctuate— I understand!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We had a kidney biopsy done today. Tomorrow is more bloodwork, and the “vampire” will earn her keep. They did an IV today, in case – but not needed. But the first nurse had a blow-out and before she ruined another vein, she called in the guy who does the “hard cases.” Now that the hard-to-get vein is scarred for tomorrow’s bloodwork… But the phlebotomists know how to do it.

      Liked by 1 person

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