My fifteen-year-old daughter recently experienced her first plane ride. She flew from Nashville to Anaheim with a brief layover in Las Vegas. Those few hours of travel time were less anxious for her mom and me than they otherwise would have been, had she been flying alone. She and around thirty classmates, many of whom I have known for years, made the trip with trustworthy adult chaperones. No big deal. Still, there was that minor uneasiness any mom or dad would feel sending their child 36,000 feet above without direct parental supervision.
After boarding, she sent us a text to let us know that she had gotten a window seat, even though she boarded as part of the “B” group. Her excitement reminded me of my first flight many, many years ago and my surprise to find that Earth looks much different from above. I remember being shocked at the efficiency with which mankind had managed to subdivide God’s creation. Geometry took on a new meaning for me that day, as I peered out the small window to see squares, rectangles, and circles in various shades of green. In fact, the blues of the water seemed to be the only creation unmodified by property owners and surveyors. But even some of the blues were manmade shapes. God supplied the water, true, but humans still managed to figure out how to shape the reservoirs in many cases. Isn’t it interesting how the created insist upon helping the Creator?
I wonder if God gets a chuckle at our attempts to partition our lives into convenient little categories. The sectioned and quarantined landscapes that surprised me during my first flight are symbolic of my attempts to manage my dual citizenship – – being in this world, not of this world. How many of us treat our Heavenly Father like a neighbor, establishing property lines and building privacy fences? Even as believers, we work deliberately and strategically to partition our lives into spiritual zones – – a little Jesus here, but not there; a tidy tree line separating our Sundays from the other days; a neat little fence row to separate secular me from spiritual me. We convince ourselves that entertainment, particularly music and movies, requires spiritual subdivision. Many of us, if only for a brief season, have attempted to check God at the door to our workplaces and schools. Or we might have semi-consciously declared, “I’ll be right back, Lord,” as we disappeared through the gate to a less-than-Christlike event or crowd. And what about the online acreage of our lives? How many of us have attempted to post a “DO NOT ENTER” sign at the entrance of the virtual “Back 40” we call the internet. As if we can contain the Omnipresent. Isn’t it interesting how the created insist upon helping the Creator?
I would imagine that God is indeed disappointed at believers’ feeble attempts to compartmentalize our lives. He created us for companionship, so it is undoubtedly hurtful when we claim Him as our Father but occasionally insist on distancing ourselves from Him, like a middle schooler who asks to be dropped off as far away from school as possible. When God looks at our lives from 36 gazillion feet, does He see our virtual fence rows and imaginary tree lines, or does He see uninterrupted green pastures of faith hemmed in by only His still waters?
Be the God of my entire life, Lord. Remove the fence rows and tree lines. It’s all yours, anyway. “Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart. Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art. Thou my best Thought, by day or by night. Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my Light.”