Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The View from Above

At the end of last week I went to Houston for a meeting. It was a relatively quick trip - arriving around 9:30 the night before and leaving around 3:30 the next day. Even in that short time, though, I was reminded why nobody should go to Houston in the summer - it was unbelievably hot and humid. My hotel was not on the underground tunnel system, so I had to walk outside for 5 blocks. By the time I got there, I think I needed to shower and change my clothes!

But that is not why I am writing.

It was a very clear day for the flight home and I sat next to the window. At some point I looked up from my work, looked out of the window and looked down on the world. I could see hills and water, some roads, divisions of the land and cities. Basically, I could see some of the bigger features. It made me think about those beautiful, classic pictures of Earth from space - the swirling clouds, the green and brown of the land and the blue of the oceans. From that level, you really only see the major features.

I guess that I am kind of intrigued by the different views from above. When I used to have room in my office for a coffee table, one of the things that it held was a book that I was given as a gift from a friend. The book was full of pictures from around the world - all of which were taken from a helicopter looking down. Sometimes it was obvious what you were seeing, and sometimes you had to really study the picture or even turn back and look it up. It was a complete change of perspective that de-emphasized the little things that we usually see and emphasized the bigger picture.

In any event, while I was sitting in the plane looking out the window, I started to try to imagine how God sees the Earth. How He sees all of those perspectives at the same time - the view from space down to the most intimate view of an individual. And He sees them all at the same time. Now, I recognize that God doesn't see things in the same way that we see them, and that He does not have the same physical and mental limitations that allow us to only see one view at a time. But that recognition doesn't make it less amazing, it makes it more amazing! God, the creator of the Heavens and the Earth and all living things, still stays actively involved in everything. He doesn't have to appoint managers; He doesn't limit His involvement to matters of a certain size; He doesn't require a lot of procedures for a meeting; He doesn't only give his attention to people of a certain level of importance. Instead, at the same time that He focuses on the global, He is willing and able (indeed, He wants) to focus individually on you and me and everyone else.

I find it simply incomprehensible. If you have ever played one of those games like Sim City, think about it on even that scale. Once you get a few buildings going and have some roads, businesses, etc., you have to start focusing on big issues. You could never focus on individuals, you have to start working in broad brush.

But not God. God still has all the time in the world for each of us. He has time to listen to our problems, to celebrate successes, to comfort, to guide and to scold. If God - the creator of the World - is willing to spend that kind of time with each of us, how can we ever deny Him? Instead, we should seek every opportunity to come into His presence, offer praises, share and seek advice. He is already reaching out to us - we just need to reach out to Him.

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