Fly whenever you get the chance.
My flying experiences always begin the same way:
- Sit down and enjoy my last few moments of social media.
- Text the wife and/or family. Phone off.
- Buckle up.
- Think to myself, “This might be it. This plane may go down and be the end of me.”
It happens that way every time, without fail. And then I usually fall asleep before the flight attendants teach us simpletons how to properly operate a seat belt—thank God for them.
Striking thoughts of death and dismemberment followed by careless sleep.
When I wake up, usually caused by the thrust of my neighbor’s elbow or the aching of my crowded knees, I glance out the window to see how we’re doing.
Often, we’re among the clouds, no ground in sight, but I enjoy the times when I can see the earth below. I am always struck by the tight organization of the landscape, the order.
Everything looks intentional; the neighborhoods laid out in even rows, suburban homes fanned out like the spokes of a bicycle tire. Crop fields stretch out beside country roads in perfect squares and rectangles. It’s beautiful.
Things don’t seem that way from the ground, at least to me. I see the littered streets of neighborhoods, houses suffering under the ever-changing weather conditions. Downtown layouts often confuse me. Sometimes it seems like they were designed with no rhyme or reason. It’s chaos, but that’s life.
And at 30,000 feet, it’s hard not the see the parallel with the everyday experience.
Life is chaotic. Many days feel disorganized and random. Sometimes you can’t help but wonder, “Whose idea was this?” We pose existential questions like, “What am I doing here?”
That’s because life cannot be fully understood from the ground.
Unfortunately, we don’t often get the chance to peer down from above, but when we do, it’s best to take full advantage.
From a biblical perspective, life, and the field it plays out on began in the mind of God, a kind of Divine Architect. Every detail was fully established before the first Let there be. And upon completion, God was pleased with His work.
The problem, sin as it has come to be known, shattered the construct and set things in disarray. What I love about the Bible is that it does not deny or dumb down the brokenness. The entire collection of books covers, in painful detail, the chaos caused by sin.
At the same time, there is a continual message of hope; the Architect did not abandon his project. The cross is the ultimate rehabilitation project. There is order at work beneath the disorder, and sometimes God lifts us high enough to see it.
On the ground it looks pointless, but pulled back a bit we see the purpose. Like a plane ride above your neighborhood, you can finally see why the house had to be placed there.
Sometimes the flight is called retrospect; other times biography, stories from the lives of others.
On occasion, we do see the beauty from the ground. Still, I say fly whenever you get the chance.
Photo Credit: Erwin van der Meer (Creative Commons)