Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The View from Above

I recently flew back to Texas from a short trip and, since I'm not a frequent flyer, I am still amazed at the whole idea of flying.  I am especially awed by the view from above -- being able to see the world from a totally different perspective.  I prefer having a window seat and especially make sure that the window is up at takeoff and landing.    I love to see the world grow smaller and smaller as we ascend and then to see the world return to normal size as the plane approaches the runway.  The view is always impressive, but this trip I noticed that sometimes the view from above is not as spectacular as it is from ground level.

On our approach I got to see the tops of buildings that are not visible from ground level.  Beautiful structures seemed not so beautiful as heating and air conditioning units are exposed and unsightly steel beams hidden by facades are visible.   Buildings that may have exceptional curb appeal are less appealing from above.  Obviously, businesses and homes are more concerned about how things look from earth than they are about how things look from the heavens, and rightfully so.  There is no need to adorn the tops of buildings.  Who cares what a building looks like from above?

Well, I don’t really care either, but it got me thinking about how much energy and care I put into looking good to people on ground level and maybe spend less energy and effort into looking good from above.  How do I look from God's perspective?  What unsightly things can be seen by God that I have managed to hide from people?

Although maintaining an appealing appearance to those around us shouldn't be neglected, I was reminded that I also need to consider how God sees my life.   In my attempt to look good to people I, at times, have the tendency to ignore my appearance to God.  I am guilty of emphasizing the view from street level rather than the view from above.   I was reminded that God sees things that no one else sees, and that needs to concern me.   

The Bible reminds us of this reality.  "People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart;” "God knows the secrets of the heart;" "I am he who searches hearts and minds" are all stark reminders that the view from above is important. They remind us that God sees what others don’t.  He has a unique perspective on my life that even those closest to me are not privy to.

I've read that the view of the Statue of Liberty from above reveals the same attention to detail and craftsmanship given to the top of lady liberty's hair and crown as was given to the feet and everywhere else that would be visible to everyone.   At the time of the sculpture there were no planes or helicopters or satellites that could view it from above yet the same care was given to the view from above as to the view from earth.   This should be true of me as well.

Heaven forbid I take so much time with facades and public image and curb appeal that I neglect the more important view from above.