The View from Way Up High

Posted by Susan On August 25, 2017 ADD COMMENTS

View from the top of the wall around the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia

Truthfully, I’m really not that crazy about flying. TSA agents aside, the idea of being up that high surrounded with nothing but air, combined with the claustrophobic annoyance of being closed tight inside a capsule-like vehicle for long hours at a time is barely tolerable. I do it because I have to.

Nevertheless, it’s good for me to fly every once in awhile, because it clears my perspective again, at least for a little while. Always, there’s that breathtaking period of a few priceless minutes as the plane is descending, when super-highways, buildings, cars, and the most incredibly designed structures of man start to come gradually back into view– and in those moments, they are all so strangely small within the greater vastness of the sky and the whole of earth that envelopes them.

The city of Bergen, Norway, viewed from above

And then–it’s fascinating– people themselves, like tiny little “ants,” start coming into view and once again, from this amazing perspective, it’s the purest reminder of how small we really are– and how vast and great God is. This view of the world, and of who man is, humbles and amazes me every time. “What is man, that You are mindful of him…?”

Unfortunately, the greater part of our lives by far is lived with our noses pushed up so closely to a mirror, as it were, staring at ourselves and our own little worlds so intensely that we totally miss the greater picture most of the time. Why are we so quick to worship, elevate, and fixate on… man?? Like staring too closely at a painting, we invariably end up with a very distorted view of reality, usually with a perception of ourselves that’s far, far, far too grand and ridiculously unrealistic! With such a distorted view, we find ourselves regularly sliding into a very man-centered fixation. Mostly, it’s all we see.

The last few times I’ve read through the Bible, it’s become more and more obvious that there is only one underlying struggle upon which every sin, every frustration, and every distortion is built: constantly sliding into exalting man, instead of God.

“Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength,” Jeremiah 17:5-8 (and multiple other references) warns, but “…blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord.”

Looking down on the bathers at the Tuscan hot springs of Saturnia, Italy

We’ve just gotta step back… step way, way back…and see the whole picture…embrace the view from way up high. It’s good to be reminded of the reality of how big God is… and the reality of how small we really are. Truthfully, there’s pretty convincing evidence that there really is nothing we can do to make ourselves righteous– and yet (this is the really awesome part) at the same time we can have the absolute assurance that by God’s truly amazing grace, totally and completely undeserved, we’re covered with His imputed Righteousness by which we live and move and have our beings.

This view is mind-boggling. And I think it’s time for another plane trip.


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