Long haul flights are a time of reflection, regardless of one’s level of interest in being reflective. I am rarely an avid movie watcher, usually try to drinks extraordinary amounts of water, and then work on sleeping. Each discipline provides me with more and more time to revisit old fears, confront ongoing doubts, and dream dreams. I find the first often fleeting, he latter usually encouraging, and the middle mostly time consuming. How many times do I cover the same ground with the same doubts? I have far too many doubts for me to count and the amount of time I spend on them is way beyond my willingness to admit. Doubts seem to haunt every corner of my being! There is nowhere to hide, run, or escape from them.
After thirteen hours of revisiting old ground I found myself walking out into a bright spring afternoon in Japan. Between the airport and the hotel I found myself rediscovering the signs upon signs upon signs that God lays out to remind us, you and me, of the unending beauty and love that is all around us. I would be the last to deny the pain but that does not diminish the incredible affirmations of God’s creation. New fields under cultivation, forests showing incredible signs of life, enthusiastic kids chasing dogs in a park, boats chasing the waves, and couples strolling as if they were the only pair present in the crowded street all testify against my doubts.
This phenomena isn’t new. The stories of old recount that one “was now the second sign Jesus gave after having come from Judea into Galilee.” (John 4.54) But everyone still had his doubts and unbelief. It was as if signs were demanded and then ignored. There was never enough. Is there now?
I don’t think it was ever about the signs; they were merely an excuse to indulge in our own reality. The evidence is all around us. Today I find myself reveling in it, dreaming new dreams, and seeing new visions. Everything is possible if I believe.