Wednesday, November 12, 2008

From the Flight to California..."Just Clouds"

I wish I was asleep.  It’s still only 7 am California time, and I have been up since 3:50 Chicago time.  That’s, um, enough hours to be tired.  I tried to sleep but it just didn’t work.  It doesn’t usually on airplanes.  I think I drifted in and out for maybe 50 minutes, but woke up to still have over two hours left of flight time.

Groggy and grumpy that I couldn’t sleep, I looked over to the see the passenger on the other side of the plane leaning over her window, her eye scrunched up to that little peephole on the camera, aiming at the wonder below.  That’s when I thought: “Lady, you’re gonna regret that picture.  It looks pretty now, but when you look back on your photo album of the Happy Retirement trip to San Diego, you’re gonna wonder why you wasted that film.  They’re just clouds.” 

Just clouds.  It seemed like a silly picture to take.  I feel like I always see them from the disposable camera on that first trip on an airplane—the classic here’s the wing of the airplane and some pretty clouds!  We’re FLYING!! Weee!

When you’ve never been on an airplane, you’ve never seen this phenomenon.  It would be no exaggeration to call it a wonder.  I thought about my critique of the lady with the amazement and realized I was wrong.  Dead wrong.  God made those clouds.  I am always amazed when I get those some thousand feet into the air and view what looks like little puffs of perfect snow, before any of the cars have driven through it, throwing dirt everywhere and turning it to slush (this is what happens in Chicago, you see.  Perfect white snow becomes ugly black slush.  Yuck.)   They kinda look like whipped cream.  Or sometimes they look like snow-capped mountains and you have to do a double-take to make sure you’re still in Kansas.

Before airplanes, no one ever got to see this view, except maybe Elijah.  And you know, I wouldn’t be surprised if on his way up his heart took a little jump when he saw this (considering he was able to get over the “I’m in a chariot of fire!” part of it all). 

So, after correcting myself about whether the lady was right or wrong for taking the picture, I decided to look out the window myself.  And what was there?

Mountains, Gandalf.

I love mountains.  I love them.  Then I really got to thinking.  (Since I couldn’t sleep, I guess it turned into a pretty good Pondering Time. 

Mountains and clouds.  They sound so simple, but when you see them you can’t help but be struck by something grand.  When you know the God who designed ever curve of the cloud, and every color of the sunlight reflecting off the white perfection, and every peak of every mountain that rises up out of every valley, then you recognize grandeur.  You recognize that awe that strikes you, and you recognize the love of that Creator.

Love?  Yes, love.  When I see these things I seem to always have a recurring thought: “Was this for me?” 

The Bible says that people who deny God have no excuse because his creation declares that He exists.   I looked at the mountains and thought about that.  I thought about the fact that I’m headed to California to pray for our nation that denies that God exists.  How can they?  How can you look at the mountains rising and falling, or learn about how intricately our human bodies work, or hold a newborn baby and deny that a good God exists? 

Watching the mountains pass underneath me makes me long for the day that we will be with God and enjoy His creation free from sin, free from darkness.  My iPod switched to the song “I Can’t Wait” and it hit home even more.  Someday we will walk with God and be able to stand in wonder with Him at His creation.  Someday the pain of knowing that people deny Him will be gone, and we will enjoy, together, the wonders of this Lord of All.

“To walk in the cool of the day with You; to gaze on the beauty of all You do; to meditate on Your glorious splendor, I was made for You…”  --Matt Gilman

1 comment:

Amy Rachel Peterson said...

Oh, Annie... (contented sigh. smile. closing eyes.)