Soaring 30,000 feet above everyday life has a way of making a person feel pensive.
I feel like there’s always a moment on a plane ride when I forget the slight anxiety air travel brings, the cramped elbows-attached-to-sides seating position and flicking the air nozzle back and forth every 10 minutes like a woman going through menopause.
There’s always a moment when I look down from 30,000 feet and see a landscape carved by God.
Every plane ride has adventurously given me a different bird’s eye view portrait, and two weeks ago, I enjoyed a California-bound view. With the whir of the plane’s engine droning in my ears, I looked down at the rivers spread across the brown desert land like veins on a leaf. I studied the darkened, sunbaked definition of mountains and the crude interjection of manmade roads snaking through the earth. Pockets of water sprung up into my vision with pops of blue.
And then everything went white outside my splotchy, plexiglass window.
The cloud enveloped the aircraft, channeling my vision to focus only on the white. Aware of the futility, I squint and peer through the billow, challenging my eyes to find the land I know resides below.
Losing the challenge, I let my thoughts roam as the plane loomed through the endless stretch of white. And roaming thoughts soon gave way to God’s insightful little metaphors He seems to so often charm me with.
I thought of the natural beauty that I’d so pensively gazed upon earlier. How my eyes lusted after the defined mountain ridges, wishing I could climb their peaks. I remembered the meandering rivers, the pops of color against the harsh brown.
I also recounted the ugly: the snaking roads and boxy, cropped fields.
But in a moment, both the pretty and the ugly were swept clean by a flash of white. As if everything I had known was just… erased.
When we are washed clean by God, we’re tempted to squint and peer back at our old life. The old habits we once thought brought us happiness. The bad influences we once thought made life beautiful. Even the things we knew were ugly at the time… we want to remember it.
But the beauty of God’s grace is that He won’t let you slip through His billowing, perfect embrace. When we are enveloped in Him, we are blissfully blinded by His love, mercy and forgiveness.
And 30,000 feet above the Earth or not, that’s something to think about.