Tuesday, September 2, 2008

God's Beauty

Written about a year or so ago on my way back from Ohio. I miss you Ohio people!!!
This story is not humorous...fyi

There's always been something very fascinating to me about flying . I love it. Whenever I travel there are several things I like to do. First of all, I love to people watch in the airport. Where are these people going? Who have they been to see? Is their trip long or short? Have they just arrived or are they leaving?

The second thing I love about flying is actually flying. I love everything about it; like taking off. I love the way the plane gains speed, until you think you can't possibly be going any faster, and then suddenly, magically, the plane lifts off. It's front wheel first, then it's back wheels. Suddenly you're rising up into the sky and leaving the ground far behind. The plane begins to find its current and pretty soon all you see are squares of farms and homes and how tiny everything seems.

If I can manage, I always pick a seat with a window. I've never understood people who wanted the isle seat. I want to see, to feel, like I'm flying. I've always thought, if I couldn't be a human, I'd like to be a bird. I love looking out the window and wondering about the places I'm going or places I'd like to go. I like to remember places I've been and the feeling of new experiences and that sweet, sweet feeling of coming home after a long, long time.

This past weekend I spent with my friend Sheri in Ohio. We had a great weekend and I wasn't particularly ready to come home but my flight was already scheduled and I had to work the next day. So, I boarded my flight, found seat 14F and pulled out a book I had been casually reading.

Usually I will read until the plane starts to taxi, watch and feel the take off (grinning like an idiot because I love the feeling so much). Look around for a bit and then dig into my book, putting it down as we begin the descent and watching the landing. Pack my book and wait to deplane. This is usually my process. Not so on Monday, September 3rd, 2007. (Incidentally, 3 years to the date of my departure from Africa-this seriously has NOTHING to do with my story, I just thought it was interestingly coincidental.)

I got as far as pulling the book out of my bag and putting it in my lap. I didn't want to open it so I looked out the window at the guy checking the wings and doing the final cross-checks. I just couldn't gather up the energy to pick up the book and read until taxiing began. I stared out the window and cat napped a bit. We started to taxi and I could feel the excitement start. I began to encourage the plane. Albeit, quietly as to not frighten the passenger to my left. "Come on, you can do it", "faster, we'll need more speed, let's go baby, let's go!" "You got this now, take off, come on, up!" Then that stupid grin hit my face…we were flying. Actually flying, soaring through the air in a hot metal tube. I began to think how great it was that God allowed man to invent airplanes that we could see what it's like to soar.

I quickly became lost in my thoughts and my book lay forgotten on my lap. I cat napped some more, got my beverage and just kept looking out the window. I began seriously thinking of taking out my camera and getting a few pictures of the clouds, they were amazing, but I thought the strange girl next to me would think I had lost it so I left it where it was.

I began to take pleasure in how beautiful the clouds were. Some were flat like a lake of mist, others were mountainous and majestic. I felt like a hobbit who had wandered out of his hole to find the entirety of Elrond's kingdom at my feet. I started thanking God for all he had created, that he could design such beauty for me…but instead of feeling all mushy inside and relishing in God's love for me, I began to see the truth. Those beautiful clouds, the darkest caves in the world, the depths of the sea may never be seen by mankind. We may never see all the beauty God created. Why? Why did he create it if we weren't meant to see it? Because of simply this, beauty wasn't created for you or for me. Beauty was created for God. Everything God created was for Him and for His glory. Not for my enjoyment, not for my pleasure, but for God's enjoyment, for God's pleasure. But you see, we were created in God's image and so we appreciate beauty just as God does. The best part? God created beautiful things and God created us. We can revel in God's creation as beautiful because it reflects the very nature of God. No matter what, God will always be glorified. It doesn't take you or I to lift his name up and declare His praise. He's already done that. God's glory doesn't depend upon you or I acknowledging it. It just is.

God is beauty and he creates it. For Himself.

The Lord reigns, He is clothed with majesty; the Lord is robed, He has girded Himself with strength and power; the world also is established, that it cannot be moved.

Your throne is established from of old; You are from everlasting.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord, the floods have lifted up their voice; the floods lift up the roaring of their waves.

The Lord on high is mightier and more glorious than the noise of many waters, yes, than the mighty breakers and waves of the sea.

Your testimonies are very sure; holiness [apparent in separation from sin, with simple trust and hearty obedience] is becoming to Your house, O Lord, forever.

Psalm 93 (Amplified Bible)

I suppose I'll always choose that window seat if I can because I know that next flight, God has something else he wants to reveal to me about Himself.

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