I forgot my headphones. I hate when I forget my headphones. I left them in the jacket that I stuffed into my suitcase that I ended up checking at the last minute. So, no music. No movies. I hope these people don't talk to me. At least I got a window seat.
After thumbing through the in-flight magazine and reading one of the books I brought with me, I began to stare out the window. Most of the flight was pretty clear, and I could look up where we were as we flew back from Denver. Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, then Arkansas. I was familiar with these places, the roads to take to get from one place to another. I have traversed them many times. But it always surprises me to see them from above. To see them from our 39,000 foot cruising altitude. You begin to see how the roads cross the land. The plots the farmers have plotted out. You can see how the towns connect to the cities and how life begins to spread out at the outer reaches of town. How some cities sit right up against the Mighty Mississippi and how others still sit back a few miles from it (I wonder why that is). You can see the green fertile regions where the rivers and streams cut through and how they connect together to the larger river. You can see how things come together, why they cut this way or that, and the greatness of the landscape becomes all the more wonderful.
In my own life, I often wonder what the long view is; the view from above. I wonder what God is up to in my life. What is He doing through this or that turn in my life? Why did I have to live here or there? Why did this experience have to be so painful? What was the lesson? How did I find so much joy during that dry season? It often takes years removed before I can look back and see what God was doing in that time. How He was with me when I went through some of the most painful times in my life. How he brought immense redemption in the specific route that he took me through. And yet, I still sometimes wonder how it all fits together.
From the first verses of the Bible we see God beginning his work of redemption. The anticipation that comes from the Holy Spirit hovering over the waters. God's first act of bringing light into the dark world. Something is about to happen. We see him work this act of creation through to Jesus. In Jesus' life, death and resurrection, we see a new pattern being set forth in the world, a new reign being established. And then once again, His Spirit hovered, but this time it was over the apostles at Pentecost.
And He hovers over you and me, working in us the redemption that Jesus brought, working out our salvation and giving us the grace and wisdom to live out His reign in our world. I long to see the vast and beautiful redemptive landscape that God has mapped out in my life, and I hope you long to see it in your life also.