“Artificial Horizon:” Seeing Past the Clouds


Plane Clouds - Andrew Neel
Image by Andrew Neel

Recently, I was on a flight from Detroit to Orlando and experienced a semi-regular phenomena. A short time after takeoff the aircraft found its way to the cloud line.  Up to this point, like many, I enjoyed the view of the miniature earth as it went by.

However, as we passed the cloud line the view of the earth became obscured by the clouds. Soon, I could no longer see the ground. Then, as far as the eye could see, just clouds.

Most who travel on airliners have experienced this vision before. However, on this particular trip I found myself quite taken with the false floor that I saw.

You see I knew that the ground was there, somewhere below the clouds. However, the longer we remained above the clouds, the less I thought about it. Instead, since my eyes could only see to the clouds, my mind told me that the clouds were the bottom of this new reality, as seen from above.

Gazing out the window to the floor of clouds below I realized that this picture, this seemingly impenetrable barrier, paints a picture of the spiritual reality which many face.

While the clouds create a visual barrier to the ground below, when the plane descends, it passes right through it. The reality is that the clouds are only a false barrier, a visual block to the truth that lies below. For me on the plane, it is the ground that is blocked from my vision. But, if this analogy is carried over into the spiritual, then that reality is so much more.

Life in this broken world is filled with distractions. Some of those distractions are the effects of our culture or of technology. Some distractions are the byproduct of spiritual warfare, with sin and temptation running rampant. Still other distractions are personal, work, family, friends, goals, and even dreams. Trials and tribulations, suffering and persecutions also have a tendency to distract us from that which is most important.

The list can go on and on because each of us becomes distracted by different things in our lives. Regardless of what the distraction is, often these distractions become artificial barriers between us and the depth of what God has in store for us.

When our careers take the front seat in our lives, and all we are rests on our success in the work place, we have missed the depth of God’s calling in our lives. Work has become a visual barrier impeding our ability to see though to the depth of God’s purpose for us.

When self-gratification is your primary desire, and consumerism or materialism drive your decision making, you have missed the greatest gift you could possibly receive. Possessions then create a barrier between you and the depth of God’s intent for your life.

Worship even can take the top of the list of our distractions. When worship becomes about entertainment or about what you get from it, instead of what you put into it, you have missed the length, width, height, and depth of possibility that worship creates.

Clouds - Liane Metzler
Image by Liane Metzler

So many things create distractions, cloud our vision of what is just beyond our sight.

There is more to this world than meets the eye. That truth, that reality, lies just outside our vision on the other side of all that distracts us in this life.

My prayer for you is that you would open your eyes to see beyond the clouds, to see all that God has in store for you.

As you strain your eyes, and gaze into the clouds, you will see a break in the clouds to the truth that lies just outside your vision. There is so much more below the cloud line, a truth that once seen changes your vision forever.

When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

Ephesians 3:14-19 NLT

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