Jump Start # 2877
Psalms 123:1 “To You I lift up my eyes, O You who are enthroned in the heavens!”
I have been doing a lot of travel recently. I’ve spent time in several airports. On one of my recent trips there was a beautiful lesson before me. In front of a large plate glass window stood two people. They were not very close to each other but they were both looking at the same thing. One was a small boy. A large airplane, the one that we would board was just outside the window. He looked with eyes wide and a heart full of amazement. He’d turn to his parents and say loud enough for all of us to hear, “Do you see the plane?” He’d look and then he’d look back to his parents. Back and forth he’d look.
The other person standing at the window was a pilot. He’d be our pilot on that very plane. He was looking very intently at the plane. I watched the back of his head. He wasn’t turning, or, looking around. He seemed to be focused upon the wings and the engine. He was giving it a careful, careful look. In a few minutes, he’d pilot that plane full of people into the skyway. Our wellbeing was resting upon him.
Two people looking at the same plane. One with awe and curiosity. The other analyzing and making sure every detail was right and safe. And, that made me think of how we view the Lord.
There are those who come with a child like curiosity. The child did not understand things such as lift, aerodynamics, thrust, speed and altitude. Much too complicated for a child. They just like the size and the color scheme of the airplane. And, in a similar way, there are those who do not understand how the Old Testament fits in with the New Testament, like puzzle pieces. They do not understand types, shadows, Jewish customs, Roman history or even the history of the Biblical books. They just love Jesus. They love those stories about healings. They love how kind He was. They love how He was not afraid, even when standing alone facing the cross. They love that He offers forgiveness and hope. They come to the Lord with a sense of awe and curiosity. Their faith may not run deep, but it is strong.
Then there are those who have spent a lifetime studying the Bible. They know many things about Biblical languages. They understand the dispensations and how one thing led to the next thing. They come to the Bible with great academics. They love the Lord, but they see different things. They see depth, transitions, and connections. Their faith is deep and rich. They understand God’s great plan. It is these who preach to us and teach our classes. They spend hours upon hours thinking, studying, looking up words and finding wonderful ways to express them to us. Sitting before them is like being in a classroom. As they teach and preach, we are busily taking notes of what they say. Congregations are blessed to have those who have such depth and knowledge in the word of God.
Two people looking at the same thing. One sees a big plane and the other is looking at the mechanics of the plane. One is curious and the other is concerned. One is fascinated and the other is careful. Two ways of looking. Sometimes we can be disappointed with the child like faith. We can think that it is so simplistic that it misses things. But, there are times the academic loses the curiosity that the child has. The child can see things that the grown up overlooks and takes for granted.
We should always strive to lower our nets deeper into the knowledge of God’s word. We must never be satisfied. The more we know, the more we become. The more we understand, the more the doors of hope are opened. Challenging Bible classes with depth is a must for a growing congregation. Leaders that are always learning and growing is a must for a congregation to have any future. Spend time thinking, looking, sharing and learning. Take notes when you hear others teach and preach. Investigate and see things on your own.
But at the same time, never lose that child like curiosity. It is the child that will ask dozens and dozens of questions. His mind sees the beauty, the fascination and the love of the Lord. He may not be able to answer the deep questions of life, but He knows the Lord and He loves the Lord. He may have more emotion than knowledge, but knowledge without feeling is dry and lifeless. It is that child-like faith that will cause some to cry during a hymn. In our quest to be accurate and truthful, some have left their feelings out of their faith. Look at the two men who traveled with Jesus to Emmaus. Their hearts were burning within them. They had knowledge and emotion.
There was a moment at the airport, when the pilot looked away from the window and looked at the little boy. The little boy looked away from the window and looked at the pilot. The two of them smiled at each other. I smiled.
Among us at worship will be those who are like that little boy. And, with us will be those like that pilot. Looking at the same Jesus, but looking with different perspectives, backgrounds and depth. Don’t be ashamed that you do not know what others do. Count it a blessing that you have those people in your life and draw from their knowledge. But, don’t ever forget that faith leads to feelings and those feelings are important. The Ethiopian went on his way rejoicing, Luke tells us in Acts. The Philippians were told to rejoice always.
Our worship hour is not a college lecture. It is more than dispensing information. It is honoring, praising and glorifying the Lord that loved us enough to save us from our sins.
A child and a pilot…we need both views.