Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


Jake went on his first plane ride ever on Thursday. Just he and I, on a trip to hang with the papas and grandmas and to build a tree house for a friend (more on that in my next post).

As for first plane trips, when you’re four, all firsts are pretty unique anyway. But an airport, I discovered, is not a location where planes live, it evidently is the birthplace of questions.
  • Dad, why do we have to take our shoes off?
  • Do I put my bag on this thing too?
  • Can I put my shoes back on now?
  • Dad, when do we get on our plane?
  • Is it time now?
  • Can we sit by the window?
  • Dad, when will our plane blast off?
  • Why are we going backwards?
  • What is that big button for?
  • Hey Dad, look, there’s shades on the window. Did you know that?
  • What does prohibit mean?
  • Will this plane have little tables like the last one? Like on the seat in front of me? And that little thing you move to make it come down? Will they have lights and air and stuff?
  • Who are those people? How come that lady is going to sit there?
  • When can I take off my seat belt?
  • Are we still going up?
  • Are we almost there?
  • Are we going to land in the water?
  • Can you get my backpack down there?
Seeing the world of air flight through the eyes of a four year old was fun. I found out online that before the plane takes off, you can go in the cockpit. So, Jake got to meet the pilot and sit in his seat. But, I had 2 observations through the eyes of Jake as I re-experienced the world of flight from a different vantage point.


When you’re four, you can’t see over the seat in front of you. You can’t see behind you. All you know is that your Dad is with you and there is stuff out the window. It requires some faith to believe that the plane is actually going where they say it is. When Jake got off the plane, he had so little perspective on what we did that when he saw the gangway in Oakland he asked me if this was a different airport from the one we left. As far as he was concerned. We got in a plane. The scenery changed out the window, and for all he knew, we could have gone in a big circle and landed right back where we started from.

Life is like that. No matter how much you think you know… it’s pretty much only the view out the side window of history. Most of the past is unknown; as is the future. We adults can get a fairly presumptuous view of ourselves and reality. Most of what we “know” however is very little of what is “known” to God.


Once our plane “blasted off” according to Jake, we went like straight up. And here in San Diego the sun was up, but “may gray” has come a day or two early and the entire shoreline is blanketed in clouds. (May and June are not the best months to visit SD if you’re planning on baking in the sun on the beach.) So anyway, not long after we left the ground, we found ourselves in the clouds. This, only lasts a few seconds. During which time I told Jake the white fog we could see meant we were in a cloud and in a minute we’d be on top of them. This was a crazy thought for Jake… to be on top of the clouds. But as soon as we broke through, we saw the most amazing sight…. clouds as far as the eye can see and the bright sun bouncing off their pillow like shapes. Jake only said one thing. Really loud.


This is why:

At this moment, I realized why 4 year olds were the ones Jesus loved. I know why we must become like children. It’s cuz they see God more. It’s not because they are too naive to know better. It’s because as adults we are too distracted. There’s like 150 adults on our plane, most of whom missed the scene all together. They’re thinking things like:
  • “Um, please, I put my coat here for a reason, please don’t sit here.”
  • “Can we hurry up and get to cruising altitude so I can turn on my electronic devise.”
  • “My window shade is down for a reason. I’m going to sleep.”
  • “I have my ear phones on and my nose in a magazine for a reason. Please don’t talk to me”.
Jake is not thinking any of this. He’s got his head peering out the window and his eyes are taking in the Glory of God’s Creation. We miss it most of the time. 2 days later, while almost done with our tree house project, I was standing at the entrance with Mark when I found myself eye-to-eye with a robin, some 30 feet up in a tree. I pointed to Mark and said, “WOW”. It’s moments like those that I miss all the time.

I think it’s sad to live a “wowless” life. I think I sadly, all too often, forget to say “wow”. I say it on vacation in the Caribbean while watching the sun set or eating an amazing meal or taking in the view of some tropical jungle. I say it at church sometimes. But daily, in my “normal” life, I find I have to force myself to not gravitate to the task at hand, missing the presence of the Lord. Missing the amazing beauty of creation. It’s all around. It’s declaring “WOW”.

So, thanks God. Thanks for the “WOOOOOOW” filled reminders of 4 year old eyes, still too amazed by the wonder of our world to be bored by it’s daily repetition.

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