Although I have what I would call a healthy fear of flying, I still love to get on a plane and soar above the clouds. There is just something quite calming when we finally reach cruising altitude where the clouds are beneath us like fluffy cotton balls drifting off into the sun.
I don’t know why, but I often stare out at the clouds and contemplate life. The combination of the beauty, the strange idea that I have no control if the plane decides to stop working, and the awesome technology of the plane make every problem seem small. In the end, I always arrive at the same conclusion about life: beyond the darkest clouds and the roughest turbulence usually lies beauty and peace. It is just a matter of perspective.
When I was a teenager, I listened to a sermon entitled “The Sky is Always Blue.” Lies, I said. Lies! I sat there trying to anticipate where the minister was going with this lie. How could that be true? I sat there thinking about the many rainy days I’d lived through and wondered if maybe he lived in a place like California where there was always blue skies and sun. But, it didn’t matter where he lived because the rainy days in my city meant his statement should not include the word “always.”
After thinking back to a flight earlier that year, I concluded that maybe he actually was not lying to me. I remembered the rain beating on the windows and the wind shaking the plane like the earth needed salt and pepper. I remembered the turbulence shaking every secret ounce of prayer out of my heart as I tried to remain calm and “trust God” with my life. “Please remain in your seats. We are experiencing a little turbulence,” said the pilot. A little? Good one, Captain, good one. Despite the rough ride, the pilot kept taking us higher and higher until we reached an altitude above the storm.
Boom! And there it was! Nothing but blue skies, a bright sun, and shades of pink and orange as the sun was beginning to set. So the minister was right, Beyond the clouds, the sky is actually always blue.
Thinking back to this moment makes me wonder if some of the solutions to our problems are simply a matter of our ability to change our perspective and altitude. What if in some cases, the success we seek is just a few more steps past what seems like a storm?
Whatever the circumstance looks like, there is always hope and blue skies on the other side, if we can just soar above it. For now, just focus on trying not to get stuck in the turbulence of life by keeping those wings flapping. Keep pushing. Keep soaring above the storm.