Friday, May 23, 2014

Above the Clouds

Right now I am 30,000 ft in the air on a plane somewhere between Portland and Texas. Although I am enclosed in a large metal tube that somehow defies gravity, I can tell that the air up here is crisp and clean. And the sun is shining up here above the clouds. Although I hate getting in a plane and leaving the city I love, I do love slowly ascending through the clouds that so often hover over Portland; and as the plane breaks through the clouds, the sunshine breaks through the plane windows. And I’m immediately overwhelmed by the beauty of God’s creation.
Being 30,000 ft above the earth brings a fresh perspective that tends to get lost in the chaos of our everyday lives back on the ground. From up here everything down there seems so small and simple, so smooth and easy. The rivers seems more peaceful and less rapid, the mountains seem more glorious and less treacherous, and the motion of cars and humans seems more fluid and less hectic.
As my flight took off just before 7am this morning, I was overcome by a strong feeling of gratitude. I’ve been feeling quite grateful lately. But as I sat here in my window seat, I became very aware of the many blessings in my life. And I couldn’t help but smile. And with my smile came surprising tears. I don’t know if I’ve actually ever cried “tears of joy”; I’ve never even really understood them. But there they were, mixing with my smile of gratitude. I think my gaze out the window hid these emotions from the woman sitting next to me, who probably wouldn’t have known whether to give me a high five or a Kleenex. And as you’re reading this, you’re probably not sure whether to smile with me or pray for my sanity.
What an odd flood of emotions. But despite my questionable lucidity, the focus of this post is gratitude and blessings. I truly have so many things to be thankful for…
I’m so thankful for planes that carry me from one place to another. I am thankful for people in Portland that I am sad to be away from for 10 days. I am thankful for people in Texas that I can’t wait to see and hug. I’m thankful for little nieces and nephews whose extra loud and exuberant phone calls make me extra excited for time with family. I’m thankful for a lake house where the whole family can spend a weekend full of nothing but hanging out with each other. I’m thankful for amazing college friends who invest in each other and value reunions. I’m thankful for a job that allows me to spend a little extra time out of the office. I’m thankful for a house and sweet roommates to come home to. I’m thankful for a God who shows up in a million big and little ways in my life.
God is Good
A month or two ago, life felt very heavy. Nothing seemed to be going my way. I can think of four big aspects of life that were up in the air. I was scrambling to pull everything back together, but waiting for it to all come crashing down around me. And then I made a conscious decision: I’m actually going to hand all of this over to God. So with each thing that was up in the air, I did my part to try to help the situation and then said, “Ok God, I’m handing it over to you. I trust you. Do what you will with it.”
My constant thought a month ago was: “I just need to somehow make it through.” My strongest thought today was: “I didn’t know life could be so good.”
What a radical difference, and what an overwhelming experience of the goodness of God.

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