You know how when someone asks you what animal you would be, if you could be any animal? Doesn't it seem like most people fall into one of two categories? There are the cute-fuzzy-loveable animal types who say "Golden Retreiver" or "Fuzzy Bunny" or "Itty Bitty Kitty Cat." Then there are high-flying-give-me-freedom types, those who answer "Eagle" or "Owl" or "Turkey Vulture." No. Not turkey vulture. No one ever says she wants to be a turkey vulture.
Today we are going to join those high-flying-give-me-freedom types. We are going to rise up to a higher altitude, even though we are never going to leave the cozy position we've settled into for this quiet, still time with God.
You are cozy, right? Have you eased your breathing? Are you letting the day's distractions fade away, far away into the background? Deep inhaaaaaaale. Gently hold that oxygen in your lungs. Slow exhaaaaaaaaale. And pause.
If you are sitting near a window to the wide world, look up at the sky. (If not, you can gaze into the clouds of the picture below.) Be in that sky, soaring up to heaven to visit our Heavenly Father. Float on the currents until they carry you to the throne of God. Then crawl up onto his lap and snuggle into his love and grace. How's this for cozy?
If any worries cling to you, if any distractions try to drag you down, trust in the promise of Philippians 4:19.
God will supply ALL your needs. Anything that holds importance to God and to you— he will provide for that. Caring for your loved ones? Taken care of. Making your home a safe and secure sanctuary? All over that. Succeeding in your work that benefits others and brightens a corner of the world? Check.
As we accept that God's got the details covered, as we gratefully acknowledge God is giving us this day's daily bread (and energy and rest and work and play — all those things that sustain and nourish us), we can fix our eyes on Jesus. We can focus on fleshing out our faith stories that Jesus started writing when he came to dwell among us and die for us.
When our faith is our focus, when God Triumvirate is central in our scopes, we can truly soar at a higher altitude. We can achieve a God-breathed perspective that delivers peace and everlasting joy.
This higher altitude coaxes us to measure our earthly experiences on a completely different scale. Temporary happiness from earthly pleasures is good (I'm a firm believer that God loves ice cream and deep belly laugh) — yet joy in the Lord is infinitely more satisfying. Terrestrial problems will continue to trouble us — but when our view of God looms large, our problems grow small in our sights.
When we are rooted in God's word and connected to God through prayer — through moments of intentional, spiritual stillness — we find the perspective, strength and resilience and to weather whatever it is that clouds our earthly atmosphere. We find the power to soar above storm clouds and sit in God's lap, cozy and content, fueled by our faith and eager to be God's face in the world.
So before we float back down to our regular elevation, let's soak up the stillness at this higher altitude with a word of prayer.
When I turn my eyes upon you, when I see my world from your heavenly elevation, the things of earth do grow strangely dim. The light of your glory and grace gives me peace. Strength. Trust.
Thank you for this time to sit with you, to see things from your perspective. Thank you for your standing invitation to rest and refuel in your presence. I am grateful for the work you are doing in me through your Holy Spirit as I dedicate these moments to the practice of being still. You have brought layers of depth and understanding to our quiet time together. You have lifted me up higher as I have leaned into your love.
And as I rest with you, high on your love, spirits raised high, I get a stronger glimpse of how you want to use me as a road sign pointing others to heaven. You, Creator of all, have created each one of us to do great work for you: to share your story and your glory. Help me to hold on to that purpose and that perspective, no matter what happens at my earthly elevation. I rest assured knowing you will guide me every step of the way.