Acts 1:11 “…’Why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.’” (NIV)
Are you a sky gazer? A daydreamer? Have you ever found yourself looking at the clouds after a plane flies into the distance, wishing your loved one could have stayed? Funny how we watch until the gigantic hunk of metal becomes a little speck, and then we stare at the emptiness. Longing. Wishing. Hoping.
I’ve had my fair share of goodbyes over the years— most of them my own fault for emigrating! I’ve looked into the sky, wondering if and when I would see my family and friends again. But I can’t even imagine the dilemma of the disciples, as we read about in Acts 1. They had seen their beloved Jesus crucified, witnessed His resurrection and hung out with the risen Lord, and now they watched Him leave, ascending into the clouds to His heavenly home. They were left longing, confused, and in limbo. No wonder they were staring into the sky. “Gobsmacked” is a wonderful British word that comes to mind!
Suddenly, two angels appear and jolt them out of their daydreaming. And I wonder if sometimes I need a jolt (by angels or otherwise) from my state of spiritual daydreaming…
Don’t get me wrong— there is most definitely a place for pausing, contemplating God’s love, and soaking in His goodness. There is a time for us to stop and wait and be still, worshipping in awe and wonder. Absolutely. But I’m referring to that dilly-dallying, dragging-your-feet, off-with-the fairies type of spiritual daydreaming. Like I’m afraid to step out in faith, the fear of failure looms, and I prefer the safety of contemplating the clouds. Even the Jesus clouds. Planning, dreaming, talking…. but not actually DOING.
It’s nice and safe, staring at the sky.
The message from the angels? Basically they told the disciples to stop contemplating the clouds, as there was important Jesus work to be done before He comes back again. And guess what? That message is the same for US today. We are to quit naval-gazing, worrying, staring at the sky and wondering, as there is important Jesus work to do. In our world. Today. In our little sphere, our circle of friends, our clan of family, our community, even globally. The Great Commission is our mission.
Time is precious and time is short. This year is flying by in a blur— just like every other year. Until one day, when we see Jesus again, coming in the clouds (how cool is that?) in glory. DO whatever it is God’s calling you to, accept the jolt from your contemplating, focus on the here and now, and step out in faith. I speak to myself more than anyone. And it’s not like we have to go it alone…
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
That’s how Jesus concluded the Great Commission. Words to live by every single day.
As we attempt to keep our heads out of the clouds…
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