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Finding Grace in the Sunrise

Singer-songwriter Sandra McCracken shares insight of how an early morning flight changed her perspective on her problems:

One morning I boarded an early flight to Florida for a music gig. My mind scrolled through the usual anxieties, like old tapes on repeat. From a west-facing window I found myself ruminating over some troubling circumstances that were pending resolution.

It was dark as we ascended through heavy clouds. Most of the window shades were closed in the cabin. A little time passed, then someone on the left side of the plane opened their shade across the aisle from me. The morning sun shot a blaze of pink light across my face. The sunlight lifted my spirits.

I looked back to see the view out the west-side window. It remained predominately dark. I had been so wrapped up in my tiny scope of vision that I hadn’t realized the sun had crept over the horizon. While one side of the aircraft was glowing with light, the other was still in the shadows. Perspective has a way of shifting our experience.

On any given day, I could make a list of my anxieties, but the morning light shining on the east side of that airplane reminds me that I could just as easily make a list of the good gifts that God has given me. Sometimes I choose to look out the dark side of the plane, into the shadows, and I focus on what is broken or needs repair. This is essential to know and consider the reality of our world. But I can get stuck there.

But no matter which window I looked out, all the while I was strapped safely in the window seat of that airplane. And all the while the pilot continued to steer the plane toward our destination. In spite of our shifting perspectives, we have a destination. God has gone before us to lay out a good plan for our lives (Jer. 29:11, Isa. 30:21). Even as we keep ourselves on the trajectory that God has purposed for us, he holds us and guides us along the way.

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