"God called the expanse 'sky'" (Genesis 1:8).When our sons were little I used to take them down to a pond near our house and let them play there. When I felt it was safe enough, I would lie back for a few seconds and look at the sky. I've always thought that looking at the expanse somehow put hurries and worries back where they belonged. The sky was boundless and swallowed the minutiae and minutes into the larger picture of God's enduring love and concern for every single part and pang of life. After a time the endless diapers and dishes and dirt didn't seem so terribly important after all, not in the sunlight of the slowly moving and lofty white clouds.I even used to look for messages! Clouds have always fascinated me, and they take some unusual shapes that can stir the imagination. One of my favorite psalms is Psalm 104, particularly verse 3: "He makes the clouds his chariot..." When I would cloud-gaze, I would see a chariot and take off--and then the little ones would quickly bring me back to unadorned reality. But even those few seconds of fantasy helped me to face stark life again.Sometimes a storm cloud darkens our horizon. But I've noticed through the years that the most beautiful sunrises are behind the darkest clouds! Many times I have observed the sun rising on stormy mornings and been awed by the aura and I'm again reminded of that precious promise to Noah in Genesis 9:13, "I have set my rainbow in the clouds..."I recommend looking to the sky when we lose sight of priorities. Somehow a glance at the universe of sky whittles reality down a bit to just how important something is. When life and its demands, both its petties and profundities, overwhelms us, glancing at the sky brings peace, serenity, a feeling that when we bring our eyes back to earth, to the horizontal view of things, all will be in place again. Vertical gives us a perpendicularly new view of our life and its abundant blessings as well as responsibilities.
_________________Patricia Erwin Nordman