Above It All
“Just keep a lookout for stumps and snags along the shoreline!”
My friend’s last warnings, shouted to me as we took off down the backwaters of the river-sometimes-lake, gave me little comfort. Dropping my left ski, I snugged my foot into the back binding, and prayed for the best. I was used to waterskiing on the wide-open surfaces of our Northern Michigan lake where the only danger was an occasional buoy for anchoring boats… boats I could clearly see and avoid.
My biggest problem was I couldn’t really see anything without my contact lenses, which I didn’t dare wear for fear of losing one or both. I squinted the best I could, but finally I resolved myself to staying mainly within the wake, directly behind the powerful motorboat. I figured anything the boat could clear, I could too… I hoped.
All can look smooth on the surface of the water. Yet, as any scuba diver can tell you, there is a whole other world below. Forests of underwater plants where sea creatures, fish, and snakes swirl with the currents. Boulders and sunken logs. Even abandoned shipwrecks concealing promised treasures… crusted with barnacle coats.
When I was a young girl, I loved looking at a particular map in one of my family’s atlases. It showed what the oceans would look like without their water. There were mountains taller than any on the surface of the earth. And canyons and crevices that disappeared into the earth’s core.
In those carefree days, I could spend hours on my back looking up at the cloud formations. Actually, I’m still in love with clouds. My imagination really took flight on my first airplane ride at the age of eighteen when I scanned the tops of those clouds. They billowed far into the sky, reaching into the stratosphere. To me it was a whole new world of wonders enjoying the blanket of white that covered all of the problems of the earth below.
Being above it all has its advantages. For a short time we can pretend there are no problems, or certainly no problems we care to be involved in. After all, plunging into unknown waters can be a dangerous thing, both literally and figuratively.
Truly, I don’t have the time or energy to really dive into everyone’s life and problems. And at times it’s important to “stay above the fray.” These days, people are even writing tips on how to stay above that free-for-all… social media.
But that’s not how life works. Not really. I’m not supposed to be living in a constant state of aloofness. What kind of a caring person is that anyway?
At the same time I don’t want to be saying, “Let’s get to the bottom of this!” for every problem I encounter. I don’t need to discover every fact, motive, or agenda. How exhausting!
Some view God as an aloof, disinterested creator. The deists stick to their belief that He doesn’t intervene once He had set the world in motion with all of its natural laws. There is nothing deeper than that. There’s nothing beneath the surface of His occasional glance to His creation.
That picture of God reminds me of a specialist I used to go to for my thyroid issues. Even though there were just the two of us in the examination room, his entire focus was on his laptop screen, checking test results and making general comments about my condition as if I were not even bodily connected with it. I doubt he even looked at me twice!
But this view of God contradicts the entire Gospel message... that message of hope and salvation. His involvement in His creation down to the smallest detail… a hair, a sparrow, ME… consumes His attention (Luke 12:6-7).
He could have remained above the clouds, above it all, ignoring the mess we had created and continue to propagate.
But His true agenda, His motive, went so much deeper when He sent His Son Jesus “into the fray.” My Savior chose to get below the surface, down into the dangers of this world with all of its not-so-hidden perils and the agendas of Satan.
And He got to the bottom of the plans of Satan, that one who thought he was running the show… because My Lord knew what the goal of those plans was all along… death.
Thankfully I know my God is not detached and uncaring. That I’m certain of.
No matter how crazy my life can get or how worrisome the events of this world can be, He is part of who I am and what happens to me.
That is His reassurance… above all!
Leaving my guilt at the cross,