God’s Perspective (thoughts from a (delayed) airplane)

Hello family and friends!

As you may know, I have recently traveled to Virginia for an academic conference (blog coming soon!). And unsurprisingly, we traveled via airplane. Now, I haven’t flew many times, this was only my second time flying- ever.

Now, I know that air travel is nothing new and many many people use it every day to get wherever they need to go. And that packing, airports, TSA, delayed flights, and crowded airports are less than ideal. These many inconveniences make your flight less exciting because it was such a long process just to sit on your darn airplane seat. And I understand that if you travel often that airplanes are just a barrier (or rather your carrier) to your destination.

Since I have not flown often, I requested the window seat both times (thanks, Cassie). And each time I would stare out the window in sheer astonishment that we. did. this. (not like me personally, but I am referring to our shared human existence and experience). We are flying!

Am I the only one who thinks this is bonkers???

It kinda seems that way to me. No shade- but everyone was doing something other than looking out the window at OUR WORLD, OUR PLANET, OUR LIVES. How could you not want to press your forehead against the rattling window that is a little too low for your neck to be comfortable?

Regardless of my neck comfort, I could not help but stare at the beauty that is our little planet called Earth. I flew in the morning- I saw the clouds at above me, the clouds around me, and the clouds below me. I saw the suburbs, the streets, the highways, the many trees, and the streams that seemed to curve any way they pleased. It was beautiful.

I flew at night- I saw the cities full of populated lights, the perfect arrangement of streets evident through their street lamps, and how elevation makes everything look so insignificant yet detailed.

As I stared at the towns and cities below me, I could not help but realize that the world was a beautiful example of pointillism. Each street lamp, lit house, storefront, and car light could be seen from my seat on my flight. Does life imitate art or does art imitate life?

Eventually, my gaze settled on what I interpreted to be an interstate. I thought of each car, represented through their headlights, how they are traveling at high speeds, but looked so slow from my seat. I had to focus to make sure that those lights I was seeing were moving.

At this moment I had a few realizations.

  1. We think our lives are fast-paced but are they?

I couldn’t help but think that I was, for the first time, seeing life from God’s perspective. How small our material things are and how we really aren’t moving fast at all. And with the cars on the highway, they were moving fast from their perspective, but from mine, they weren’t. Each car had a destination and I could see farther ahead in the road then they could. My point is: God knows where we are headed in life, what are paths are supposed to be, and that our life paths may seem fast-paced and may be overwhelming at points, but they really aren’t.

2. My Privilege

Now, I would not call myself the most privileged person in the world, but I certainly recognize what privileges I do have. Here I am flying above cities where homeless people reside, where children may be going hungry, and where hate-filled people think violence is the only option. Right now, I am literally and figuratively above these people who are in need of help, whether they know it or not. How can we use our privilege to aid in the building of our underprivileged brothers and sisters?

3. Life is beautiful

There are SO many times during the day where I just stop and think “wow this is my life.” It took me a while to figure out and see the beauty of everyday life. I know this is corny- but I see God in everyone (it’s not always easy!) and I see God in every place I go. Life is truly a gift- one that we often take for granted (much like airplanes).

My advice: stop watching Jane the Virgin on your phone, look outside your window, put your philosopher hat on, and start thinking! At least that’s what I did 🙂

Thanks for reading!