Something strange has happened to the world of flight. Instead of gazing transfixed out the window at the earth below, most people—even those with prized window seats—tend to pull down their window shutters so they can’t even see out, preferring to watch videos or sleep. How is this even possible?? On our trip from Michigan to South Korea and back, I had great plans for watching the world go by, especially since on our trip last spring we enjoyed an unparalleled commute and saw thrilling vistas of Canada, Alaska, the Bering Straits, the Arctic Sea, Siberia, and China. This time, our return flight was through Tokyo, so I was also hoping to see Mt. Fuji, although when I called Japan Airlines to ask for a window seat on the right side of the plane, the attendant informed me that there were only window seats available on the left side of the plane, and that it would be impossible to see Mt. Fuji from the plane regardless. Sigh. Well, as it turned out, the entire trip from Michigan to Seoul was cloud-covered, and I hardly saw any land (although the sunrise was spectacular). I was very disappointed, but every once in a while I’d cast a wandering eye from my book to the banks of clouds below just in case I could catch a glimpse of something…and guess what? Rising out of the clouds over Alaska, I saw the most breathtaking views of Mt. McKinley! I couldn’t believe my eyes! It was the best view I’ve ever had, even though Alan and I drove to Denali National Park once in pursuit of seeing this highest of all peaks on the North American Continent! What a thrill! On the flight back to the U.S. two weeks later, it was clear from Seoul to Tokyo, and I really did enjoy the views of our flight across South Korea and Japan, although I was still feeling sorry to miss Mt Fuji…when all of a sudden the airline hostess mentioned over the intercom that Mt. Fuji was visible above the clouds on the right side of the plane. I asked a passing stewardess if there was any chance I could take a picture, & she smiled brightly and asked me to follow her. She actually offered me an empty seat in the first class cabin so I could take pictures! Thank you, Japan Airlines, for your hospitality! The rest of the trip was straight clouds again, and I rather reluctantly resigned myself to a blank night of flying over the polar regions of the Arctic Circle with nothing but the flash of the wing tip against the inky black of the midnight sky. After reading until I was sleepy, I decided to check out the window one last time before going to sleep. It was -81°F. and we were traveling 622 mph at 37,000 ft., so I had no expectations. However, what to my wondering eyes should appear? Not Santa, but in the distance, across the entire northern expanse of earth out my left window, were the most amazing, pulsing Northern lights! I am sorry that my camera was not able to capture the glory of that display (traveling as fast as we were in complete blackness). I’m not even sure if people on earth could see them, since we were so high above the clouds (I’ve googled in vain for images to share with you), but it took my breath away and I sat transfixed for a long time, just worshiping our awesome Creator who displays his power and beauty for all creation—whether or not anyone on earth even notices—in a light show more magnificent than mankind could ever imagine how to duplicate. Truly, his flight plans were even better than mine. Our God is an Awesome God!
“When the sky was starless in the void of the night
(our God is an awesome God)
He spoke into the darkness and created the light
(our God is an awesome God)
Judgement and wrath He poured out the Sodom
Mercy and grace He gave us at the cross
I hope that we have not too quickly forgotten that
Our God is an Awesome God.
Our God is an Awesome God
He Reigns from heaven above
With Wisdom pow’r and love
Our God is an Awesome God.” ~Rich Mullens “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork” (Psalm 19:1, ESV Bible).