I was on a flight yesterday morning from Louisville to Sarasota to visit with clients. Sitting on the plane just before takeoff, I looked out the window at the massive wing reaching out on either side of the fuselage like a mighty eagle stretching its wings before taking flight. I marveled at its size…its strength and weight…the fact that inside its wings resides the unseen fuel that gives engines the thrust so the wings might effortlessly do their work.
I understand little about aerodynamics. What I do know is that the wings are just the right shape, size, and length to enable this jetliner to lift from the earth to the heavens.
It’s a spiritual lesson and one I almost missed.
I returned to my Delta brewed coffee with a splash of Baileys when the thought occurred to me: “As human beings, we, are equally complex creations, are we not? Mysterious in design and capability, too?
Think about it. We are an immaculate design, providing temporary residence to trillions of cells that flash on and off like lights, each performing its momentary but momentous function and all the while orchestrated by an unseen Conductor who leads this perfectly tuned symphony we call human life.
Whatever this Mystery is, it enables my mind to think, my heart to beat, my lungs to breathe, my hands to grasp, my fingers to move, my knees to bend, my feet to walk, my tongue to speak, my eyes to see, my ears to hear and on and on and on with a myriad of millions, even billions, of unseen functions all occurring within and simultaneously and without any involvement by me.
It all just happens and I am completely unaware of it. It is one breathtakingly majestic mystery.
Can you think of anything more magnificent? Must you and I stand at the edge of the Grand Canyon before we feel the majesty, mysteriousness, and magnificence of this creation? Of you, yourself?
What I’m talking about my friend is God in human flesh. Only this time, the human flesh is YOU!
If you knew who this was IN YOU, doing all of this unseen stuff, of what could you possibly be afraid?
If you were even remotely aware of how extraordinary you really are, how could you ever again regard your life as too damn ordinary?
Know what our problem is? What my problem is at least?
I’m too often spiritually unconscious!
And, if salvation isn’t awakening you to greater consciousness…more alertness…a larger awareness, what good is your religion anyway? Really now! What good is it?
The reason you’re reading this and can’t stop reading it is because something in you knows that what I’m writing about is true and it feels to your thirsty soul what soil must feel whenever the spring rains descend upon it.
So, you don’t feel so majestic either? You don’t feel wonderfully made, as the Psalmist put it (Ps 139:14)?
Maybe you and I don’t see the mystery that we are or the magic that we are…or, for that matter, maybe we do not recognize the many messages from beyond because…
… “We’re in a hurry to get things done…Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun…”
Heard that song today, too, like a message from beyond, just as I turned on the radio on my way to have the car serviced. The song is a bit old indeed, but its message is just as relevant as the day Alabama first sang it.
I know. I got the tune stuck in your head now. So, go ahead take it for a moment. Hum the tune with me and words, too, to the next line.
Remember how it goes?
“All I really gotta do is live and die, but I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.”
“…I’m in a hurry and don’t know why?”
Do you know why?
If you’re like me, sometimes I need to be reminded that “all I really gotta do is live and die.”
The tragedy about life is not that we die; the real tragedy is that we never really live.”
The mystery is missed because the mind, rather than being present…rather than being conscious – which means “alert” “awake” “aware” – rather than observing what’s right in front of its face, as in the wing on a plane…rather than hearing the many messages from beyond that quietly speak to us from everywhere and through everyone, even through everything…the mind is “here” but wants to be “there”…wherever “there” is.
Which may explain why Jesus described people like you and me as “lost”…
“…like sheep without a shepherd,” lost…
“…like a coin carelessly dropped to the floor,” lost…
“…like a prodigal son trying to survive the stupid choices he’s made of his life…” lost…
“…like a ‘goodie-two shoes’ who’s in church but whose heart is far from Father and resentful toward everyone.”
“All I really gotta do is live and die…”
That’s really all any of us “gotta do” and, come to think of it, we do not control either of them…neither our birth nor our death. So, maybe the lesson in all of this is that we should just be still today…slow down a whole bunch…pay closer attention to what’s going on around us…perhaps even say a prayer of thanks for being so wonderfully made…
And, oh, while you’re at it, do you think we should be grateful, too…
For those messages from beyond that come through old country songs we haven’t heard in a while?
And, what about a word of thanks today, for those unseen Wings that carry you…
…even when you’re not aware?