Friday, January 06, 2012

A Different Perspective

This morning has been a wreck. I usually take some time to peruse the news, and I can't help but feel outraged and enraged by what I read. I detest reacting to things like this. I had even planned to write something from the class I lead on Thursday evenings at church, Christian Believer. Then, it got all muddled and fuzzled in my head, and I became even angrier at the way people keep stomping the name of Jesus in the dirt.

So, why not talk about what I did yesterday morning?

At nine a.m. I arrived at Cornerstone UMC, and met with Dave, a retired USAF pilot. He drove me out to a little airport outside Huntley and introduced me to his plane, a Cessna 170A built in 1951, which he keeps in immaculate condition.

He walked me through his usual pre-flight routine and checks, then we hopped in and soon we were 1500 feet above sea level, which means about 600 feet above the suburbs.

About fifteen minutes later, we were out over Lake Michigan, flying south.

We flew by Chicago. From 1500 feet up and a couple miles out over the lake, this is what Soldier Field, the Observatory, and the Shedd Aquarium look like.

We flew as far south as the Museum of Science and Industry, then Dave banked left and climbed a thousand feet for the trip back north. From that height the plane was finally above the tops of the tallest buildings in Chicago. The skyline from that vantage point is . . . well, it's nothing short of breathtaking.

We headed back west, then somehow, flying by the seat of his pants and with a little help from some landmarks, we found, first, our house:

And the church:

I was given a rare treat yesterday, an hour and a half of my life that offered beauty, a unique perspective on the world, a chance to see and experience a kind of freedom and joy that not everyone gets in this life. I remain humbled by the thought that I, even I, had this opportunity. I am a very blessed man.

Virtual Tin Cup

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