How Clouds Float in the Sky

“… how clouds float in the sky…”
“Do you know how clouds float in the sky,
the work of God’s amazing skill?” (Job 37:16)

How do planes stay in the sky?  Regardless of the fact that we can explain it by airflow over wings and lift, I’m still amazed.  Every time I get on a plane I look out over the wings.  Forget needing a “bigger boat.”  I always feel like we need bigger wings if we’re ever going to get that plane off the ground.  I remember growing up in southwestern West Virginia and seeing very little in the sky above us except the things God had hung there like the stars and moon.  Very seldom did we see an airplane.  Curiosity makes its home with me so I was always anxious for a time when I could see more and wonder how.  I guess that’s why I was like a kid in a candy store when we lived in northern Virginia and the sky was filled with all kinds of airplanes and helicopters.  I always looked up in amazement and wonder.

Today in the age of technology we might be tempted to answer the speaker in the book of Job with, “Why yes, now that you mention it, we do know how clouds float in the sky.  We can even make clouds (and planes) that float in the sky.”  It’s easy for us to lose that sense of awe, amazement, and wonder.  Maybe we’re not always conscious of it, but I feel like many times we live with a sense that we can explain just about anything.  Just give us a laptop connected to the internet and we can find the tools to explain everything from clouds and planes to life and love.  If we’re not careful we can easily make the leap to idolatry, worshiping at the temple of the god of technology that we have created.

Wondering and being amazed is different from scientific exploring and having everything explained.  To believe that with enough time and the right tools everything can be explained is not only idolatrous, it’s downright boring.  Sure, I know from my curiosity that exploration and discovery can be exciting for awhile, but eventually, it’s just another explanation.  Faith-filled wondering ends not with simply another explanation or piece of the puzzle, but rather, a sense of “Wow!” and, “Aaah!”

The end of the exploration for me is never simply, “Oh, so that’s how it works.” or, “Oh, so the air flowing over the wings creates lift that allows the plane to stay aloft.”  The end is always, “Oh, so that’s how it works, but Wow, isn’t it amazing how we get to be part of something so amazing – God’s creation.”  At the end of every exploration and explanation there needs to be an act of faith, a “Wow!”  That “Wow” is our acknowledgement that even though we can figure out a lot of things, we are still simply a miniscule part of what the speaker in the book of Job called, “the work of God’s amazing skill.”

I pray that you and I will always remember that explanation is just a footnote to wonder and amazement for the activity of God’s creative Spirit.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia

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~ by revgenelson on August 22, 2012.

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