Traveling usually doesn’t go according to schedule and this trip was no exception. We left Modesto in hot morning sunshine but arrived at the San Francisco Airport under a heavy grey canopy of cloud and drizzle. Our flight was delayed…and delayed again. We sat on black vinyl seats exchanging grim smiles with fellow passengers, who were looking more or less irritated and nervous as time went by.
John and I didn’t mind the delay too much. We had been assured that our connection in Phoenix was also delayed. But we hated to think of our friendspicking us up in the wee small hours of the morning. Maryland is three hours later than California.
It wasn’t a storm by any stretch of the imagination, but as we left the dark, overcast ground, and lifted skyward I couldn’t help thinking about a Scott Wesley Brown song, Above the Storm.
The plane taxis down the runway under a cloud of gray moods and pain,
And the sun is gone, held hostage by the rain,
Then up off the ground I’m carried past the last cloud I break through my fears’
And in the golden light I lose my taste for tears.
Up above the storm
courage revives me.
Hope comes alive in me,
high above the storm.
Lord I fly to you
and gather your strength
To rise above the storm.
The darkishness outside the plane window lightened just a little as we entered the clouds…it was like driving into wispy fog which rapidly became dense white. It was almost hard to believe, but suddenly we were shooting into pure glowing light. Below us heaps of clouds looked solid enough to stand on, and above us was endless brilliant dark blue.
I actually caught my breath!
As the plane approached Phoenix, the clouds thinned and we could see that great city spread out below us like an endless topographic map. So many buildings and streets and cars…all the size of toys.
I’ve talked about this before – whenever I fly. I call it my airplane window lesson. The houses are the size of Monopoly houses and the streets and freeways are ribbons with little coloured beads running along them. And to think that every one of those little beads has at least one life in it. Each Monopoly house represents at least two or three lives. Thousands of lives spread out as far as I can see from this heavenly vantage point. I will never know most of those people, but God knows every one of them intimately. He is working out details in each of those lives as surely as he is working out the details in my life.
It’s something like that humbling feeling I have when I gaze into skyful of blazing stars. “…what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?”
It was fun to see the Diamondbacks’ stadium with the roof open to the sky. And that reminded me of all the traveling baseball players must do. I wondered how often their flights are delayed, and how they manage to cope with changing time zones and jet lag. We had left San Francisco in Pacific Time and – aside from the fact that Arizona doesn’t do daylight saving time – we would be changing planes in Mountain Time. One hour ahead. That means our two-hour flight took us three hours into the future.
As we circled Sky Harbor Airport I pondered the whole concept of time zones and going backward and forward in time. And then is struck me that just as God is above the physical world of Monopoly houses and bead-string-highways, He is outside of time – completely unhampered by those zoning restraints. He invented it and gave it to us.
I wanted to take some time and think a lot more about that idea… But there was no time. We had to get our luggage out of the overhead compartment and see if we were in time for our connecting flight to Baltimore!