“Prepare for takeoff.”

Hearing these words from the captain, I begin to imagine what I look like in the eyes of my Creator as I begin to ascend 30,000 feet into the sea of blue & white above…
For those who have never flew before, I’m sure it doesn’t take much energy to imagine what the act of ascending upwards would feel or look like; however for so many, the act of flying is no different then riding a bus or riding in a car.. but regardless, this command will always at least prompt a hint of anxiety.

With every hundred feet of ascension, I can’t help but think of the huge amount of individuals who will never get to experience what I am seeing out of my window as I climb higher & higher…

Seeing what once was so big, become so small…
I can only imagine what we look like through God’s eyes.

It never fails…
The roar of massive plane engines invade the collective silence of the passengers inside.
As I look around the cabin of the plane,
I notice many responses throughout while the plane continues the ascension
higher… and higher through the sky.

… To my left,
a man sits slouched as his baseball hat attempts to cover his eyes.
He seems to be attempting to get some rest after visiting his parents in Detroit.
… Across the isle,
a woman is looking intently at the man sitting next to her,
presumably he’s someone close due to her apparent desire for comfort in the circumstance
… In front of me,
I see many stare out of the little windows all around,
each with their unique and individual thoughts, worries, and concerns.
… As I look out my window,
I notice thousands of houses, cars, and trees getting smaller and smaller.
I attempt to focus the lens of my phone’s camera that is in airplane mode,
only to be reminded of being disconnected from the world below my feet.

In attempt to capture a unique perspective of the world I so often think I know so well…
30,000 feet never fails to remind me how small we really are.

It’s crazy, I can still remember even as a 12 year old kid
having the same thought as the plane ascended higher and higher during my very first flight…
I remember that I couldn’t help but see how meaningless everything appeared
as I ascended from the Atlanta Airport…

As I currently look through the lens of my phone’s camera,
I am reminded of that 12-year-old boy who unknowingly reflected King Solomon
who centuries ago, with passion, boldly declared:
Meaningless! Meaningless!
Utterly meaningless!
Everything is meaningless!!” (Ecclesiastes 1:1)

Now as a 22 year old man,
I almost come to the same conclusion as Solomon;
But when I look down at the fingerprints of each cloud which reflects the careful thought and care that goes into the creation of life, I begin to think about the individual purposes that each cloud possess…

Some clouds send rain downward to farmers who wait in anticipation,
while some in frustration make the decision to cancel an outdoor event due to weather…
Some clouds produce thunderstorms that aid the individuals reflecting in awe and wonder,
while some flee in panic to seek shelter from the potential harm…
Some clouds begin to pick up speed and grow into destructive tornadoes and hurricanes….
… And I begin to struggle to find a meaning in that purpose…

But as I look down on the clouds,
I can only imagine the sorrow our Creator must feel
to see a tornado or hurricane begin to form and swirl…
Knowing all along the original design of creation was to prosper

Whether ascending to 30,000 feet
or descending to sea level,
we must remember that the presence of chaos does not discredit the presence of beauty…
… And like the presence of chaos,
the presence of beauty demands a response.

As I look around the cabin
I see so many people
and I can’t help but be moved by the fragile state of existence we live in…
As we all have unique and individual thoughts, worries, and concerns.
As each one of us spends our lives trying to ignore our coming day with death…
Our Creator cares for each individual with utmost passion…
… For our Creator loves people more than we can ever comprehend.

30,000 feet above ground,img_1280
I can only imagine what we look like
through our Creator’s eyes…
As I look out, I am reminded of a recent memory where I was standing by Lake Michigan on the same ground I am now looking down below.
I remember in that moment by the lake feeling so small,
in a world so big…
… Yet now as I am up so high
that big, big, world seems so small.
As I now look through the clouds passing me by,
I notice that nothing changed but my perspective…

I begin to see 30,000 feet above the ground,
that in every moment (both in day and in night)
all around us is a Light that can not be hidden…
A Light that we can not escape.

Even if we close our eyes… Even if we fail to look at it… Even if night comes…
30,000 feet above the clouds, I am reminded that the sun never stops shining!

Even when it may appear as if the sun is not present…
Even as the plane passes through a cloud
and a sense of PANIC begins to overwhelm me,
it only takes a single ray of Light to peirce through…
for clarity to overwhelm me
as the Light provides hope to what was once believed to be lost.
Even the king of the night sky, the moon,
reminds me as it reflects the Light of the sun….
that just like the tornado, or the hurricane ….
Darkness will always succumb to the presence of Light.

Clouds remind me of the presence of Grace protecting those below from the sun’s rays.
The squares of farm land remind me of the toil from the soil that came after the rebellion.
The blue waters remind me of the unique provision and status among all of creation.
The turbulence felt by the aircraft reminds me that we are still under uncontrollable mercy
that is outside of my grasp or control.

And as I am looking out into a sea of wonder
30,000 feet above all I know,
tears begin to fill my eyes…
I begin to think of the TONS of times that I wasted thoughts and time worrying about things that will rot away when my time is done on this planet!
I begin to try to imagine the sorrow our Creator feels to zoom in to view on His precious daughter on her knees heartbroken and CRYING out for relief in a house below!
I begin to try to imagine the sorrow He feels to see a husband and wife venomously yell at eachother with hurt and insecurity spewing from the mouths that He created!
I begin to try to imagine what my God saw when He saw me snap a photo by Lake Michigan
as I looked in awe and wonder at the beauty of a simple sunset.

Looking out into the a sea of blue & white I begin to cry because all I see is…
All I see is Grace!!!
Whether standing on land
Or 30,000 feet above the world we know,
we have a Creator relentlessly trying to capture our attention
relentlessly trying to change our perspective
from instead of looking at ourselves to instead look at the big picture
while acknowledging the AMAZING Grace that surrounds us day-to-day!
And all along,
As the sun makes life possible,
The Word of God made it all
And The Word of God holds it all still
(John 1, Hebrews 13:8)

In my seat 30,000 feet suspended,
as thoughts and memories begin to flood my mind
I am reminded
that ALL this life is for
is to acknowledge our Creator
and with JOY surrender our nothing to His everything,
to His Will for our lives….

Looking out into the beauty of the skies and the land below
I’m absolutely humbled that we have a God
a Creator
a Savior
a Sustainer
a Pursuer
a Father
a Friend
a Provider 
a Comforter
a Teacher
a Guide
a Light
Who relentlessly pursues us
so that we can come to Him and see Him for who He is and who we are!

While there is an Enemy who spends every moment of every day
pridefully attempting to keep our perspective on things below…
attempting to keep our perspective on things temporary…
who desires us to keep thinking that life is about ourselves,

Our Creator calls to us,
He calls us to lift our eyes toward Him
instead of attempting to fill the void in our lives with temporary relief
for a greater need that only our Creator can fill!

Looking down,
I begin to see how small we are…
… And I start to see that seeing how small we are gives the perspective needed for us
to surrender to how big, and how magnificent our God & Savior is!

EVERYTHING we desire in this life
EVERYTHING we spend our lives trying to attain from this world
in order to fill the crevices and holes in our heart and soul,
can be found in Jesus!
I cry because as I look out my little window…
My perspective changes from my failures…
To my Savior!

30,000 feet above ground I realize that we spend so much time fighting a war
that has already been won!!
No matter where we go,
No mater where we rise or fall,
No matter our thoughts,
No matter our deeds,
The main character is the Son,
Who knows us greater than we know ourselves.
(Psalm 139, Hebrews 4:14-16)

We have a God who is present in 30,000 feet
And present within the presence of our breath…
We have a God who is interested in the major life decisions
And interested in our day-to-day plans…

Through it all…
Our God loves us so much

Our God loves you so much!

May what seems so big in our lives
Begin to be seen for how small it really is…
May our perspectives be renewed by the Word of God
and by the testimony of the beauty all around us!
Regardless of the chaos around us…
reflect on this beloved hymn:

“O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace…”

My prayer is that the things of earth
Will day by day
Begin to grow strangely dimmer & dimmer
as we grow closer & closer to our Savior.
Takeoffs mean nothing if there is not a proper landing….
May we begin to truly see that our lives is meaningless
without surrendering to the Author of meaning.

May we hold on to the Light that
Never leaves
Never hides
Never surrenders.
May our perspective be shaped around the reality that the Light has already won the war!!

With tears in our eyes
May our lives say thank You
As we live with the perspective of Heaven…
Eternity began the moment we surrendered our lives.
– J

“Therefore, just as you have received Christ Jesus as Lord,
continue to live in Him,

rooted and built up in Him,
established in the faith as you were taught,
and overflowing with thankfulness.

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception,
which are based on human tradition and the spiritual forces of the world
rather than on Christ.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form.
And you have been made complete in Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.”
-Colossians 2:6-10


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