What Was That All About?!

I just now returned from a walk around the neighborhood with our dog Hannah. While walking the dog is not one of my favorite things to do, I knew today would be different. You see, today is the annual airshow at the nearby Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport. That means fighter jets--which are a curious passion of mine. I'm not sure exactly why, but military jets provoke a strange and wonderful reaction in me. Today was no exception. I heard the jet engines well before I saw the aircraft and then, there it was: an FA-18 Hornet performing maneuvers overhead, screaming across the sky with awesome grace and power. My reaction always puzzles me: I start to sob like a small child. Seeing its precise turns, hearing its roar echoing and reverberating all around me, shaking me to my core, I am transfixed, overcome with emotion. Seeing, hearing, and feeling the roar of the jets for me is raw beauty, graceful, awesome, terrible, and majestic. But why the strange reaction? Why such strong feelings? The only other time I get this is when I'm overwhemed with beauty--in nature or art or music--and it becomes for me a channel to God. Stay with me here. I think what's happening with the jets is that I am being given a small window into my deepest desire: to know and experience the power and majesty, awe and wonder of God, my Father and Creator. Jets, art, beauty, these are just pointers to him; he's the one I want. I like jets. But I love the reaction, which is surely about more than jets. It is a longing and an ache, a feeling of smallness and helplessness which is actually transporting. I hear in the jet's roar an echo of a voice that booms out across the balletic moves of the deafening aircraft. Awesome is the only word for it. Am I just weird or do any others feel this way? By the way, even as I write, an F-16 Falcon is now conducting its maneuvers. And here I go again...

1 comment:

Linda Hawkins said...

I think the feeling of smallness has to be the same for those flying the jets as we feel from down below. You likely know this poem, but I thought you might relate to it - my father loved flying and asked that it be read at his Memorial Service last week.

High Flight by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

"Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds - and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of -
wheeled and soared and swung high in the sunlit silence.
Hovering there I've chased the shouting wind along
and flung my eager craft through footless halls of air.
"Up, up the long delirious burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
and, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
the high untrespassed sanctity of space,
put out my hand and touched the face of God."