Midair on my flight to Denver last week, I was enjoying the view so much I pulled out my pen and wrote the first draft of this article. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!
Christian Thinking At 40,000 Feet
Peter Bartlett, February 26, 2015
For me, flying is not just another means of transportation to get me from point A to point B. Flying is richer than that. It is a personal experience of God’s wisdom and covenant faithfulness to His church. I'd like to explain three reasons for saying this:
- Flying demonstrates the recreativity of man made in God’s image. “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” (Genesis 1:26). A human being is really the closest representation of God Himself that exists in the created order. Embodied in man is the features of God and man’s actions glorify God because of their likeness to His on a creaturely level. Flying takes into account centuries of human thoughtfulness, scientific study, experiment and application, all which have been necessary building blocks in the course history to bring glory to God. When I sit in the seat of a plane, I sit atop a pinnacle of human inventiveness which mirrors God’s creativeness.
- Flying through space is the experience of God’s temporal substance. Acts 17:24 says, “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth…” I believe in the biblical doctrine of creation. There was once nothing but God. Then God made all things material and spiritual by His word. By His word all things consist, both in the heavenly realm and earthly physical world (Col 1:16-17). All things emanate from the eternal Godhead and counsel of the Trinity. To fly, therefore, is traversing a region of space sustained by God. It is experiencing the substance of God’s revelation of Himself to man by His works. Men combine elements of the physical world to propel them through space, achieving their desired ends and ultimately carrying forward the predestined course of human history. So to fly, is to whiz around this terrestrial ball like a kid on a rollercoaster, taking in the scenery from a different angle.
- The predictability and challenges of flying are established by virtue of God’s covenant word to His church. Genesis 8:22 says, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night, shall not cease.” To encounter unchanging laws of science is to verify the words of God’s promise in Genesis 8. His word alone is the reason for consistency in nature. No external, co-eternal abstract laws exist to complement the being of God. He Himself, by His word manifested through the Spirit’s operation, ordains and personally upholds the foundations of flight and aviation for the sake of perfecting His church in time. God “hath put all things under [Christ’s] feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,” (Eph 1:22). For me to fly, then, is to rest in the arms of my God who keeps me safe according to His promise, and I can trust He will see me to my destination if that is what is best for me.
The enjoying of God is found anywhere we as Christians submit our world and life view to God’s testimony in Scripture. When believing what it says by faith in the One who spoke it, we will enjoy meeting God in His works. Flying is just one of many ways that we can glorify and enjoy God -- there are so many more.