Posted on May 13th, 2013
I love to travel. Especially when it involves flying! And most likely, if the flight is any shorter than two hours, I’ll spend that entire time with my forehead pushed against the window, looking at those “flyover states” below.
As I wrote in an earlier post, I’m traveling to spend time with my best friend who lives down here in Mexico as a school teacher. My flight from PA to TX was interesting enough with lots of turbulence, two storms, big puffy clouds, and checkerboard fields below. But then (after a delay in Houston airport and the flight attendant letting us know we had to wait to find out if our destination airport was closed yet for the evening ) we took off for Mexico into an early evening sky. It was one of the most beautiful flights I’ve been on.
There was a thin layer of purple blue clouds and the city lights below shone through between the gaps. A long golden line stretched across the horizon as a few bright stars lit up the darkening sky. As we headed south, “smoke” from Popocatépetl (an active volcano) broke the horizon and storm clouds close by flashed with lightning. And, if it couldn’t get any more remarkable, the rest of the sky was clear and now even darker, which revealed SO many stars that it looked more like dusting across the sky. I really should have been trying to sleep, and definitely needed a bathroom break, but I just couldn’t pull myself away from the window.
I have never been more inspired by the realization of how small I am.
Sitting in front of such an extraordinary view, as cliché as it sounds, one thing entered my mind: “Wow, I am small“. Don’t read ‘insignificant’, just…small. And I have never been more inspired by the realization of how small I am.
I have been trying to finish Michael Card’s book Scribbling In The Sand for a year now. (The book is phenomenal – I’m just bad at setting aside the time to read). A core theme of the book is about the understanding that as artists (musicians, photographers, writers), we are always Creatives not Creators. We really never create something new. We are here instead to inspire others by creatively re-telling what has already been created. For many of us, this can completely turn our own perception of our talents, our “calling” in life, or our own views of art on its head. But let it be in a good way.
What always happens is that every time I pick up the book I have to retrace a few pages to remember where I am. And in doing so, I found a note written sometime last year when I last read a particular passage (which makes me thankful that I write in books). The passage is as follows (abbreviated).
“In the light of…knowing the truth of who we are, we answer that our giftedness is not our own, it is from our creative Creator God. You and I stand unveiled as the simple recipients of a gift that is beyond ourselves.” (emphasis added)
Below, I had written “If this is not MY gift, but from HIM, then it must be capable of extraordinary things.”
If this is not MY gift, but from HIM, then it must be capable of extraordinary things
And that is why the view out my window was more than just breath-taking, but also, in my favorite way, quietly inspiring. Feeling small, was humbling, yes, but freeing.
To accept that any and all of my talents as gifts from God, my view changes. I’m not the end of my gifts. I’m not the limit to my own art. I could never possibly run out of inspiration or creativity (maybe just look in the wrong place). I have within me a gift from the most brilliant Artist whose work the greats have just told and retold over the ages. I can tap into an endless store of the highest most profound creativity we will ever come across. And He is capable of painting such extraordinary skies. Sitting there looking out my window, realizing I was so small, gave me the excitement to know I had that much to expand into. I am THAT small. There is THAT much more to become because our creative gifts are from Him – and therefore capable of extraordinary things.