Last week I walked the streets of New York City. Not all of them. But a few. As I was walking, I realized that I could have been walking in just about any bigger city based on what I saw around me. Busy people, but mostly pleasant. Lots of cars, but none colliding. One gentlemen handcuffed against a wall — but that happens here in Cleveland.

At any moment, I could have thought that I was just about anywhere but the biggest city in the nation.

As long as I didn’t look up.

At the street level, most of the blocks look the same. People. Cars. Shops. Construction. Taxis. More taxis. More people. No big deal. I was getting it down pretty good. I could have been anywhere but the Big Apple.

As long as I didn’t look up.

When I did stop to look up, I realized just how small I was. When I did stop to look up in all directions, I realized just how big the Big Apple really is. Tall buildings as far as I could see. When I first saw the new One World Trade Center Tower disappearing high above into the morning fog, my illusion of being the center of the universe was gone — in a New York minute?

When I flew out of Newark and glimpsed the vast city of more than 8 million below, I was reminded that I am not all that. Even if I could tell myself the opposite while walking the bustling streets.

As long as I didn’t look up.

I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up.” The prophet Isaiah relayed his vision of the transcendent glory of God. It leaves him speechless. In that sobering moment, he is undone. Isaiah must have been tempted at times to think that he was something, too.

As long as he didn’t look up.

Before we start pointing fingers too vigorously in the direction of life’s other scurrying pedestrians, when was the last time you took the time to stop?

And look up.

“God is God and I am not.” But I can fool myself for a while.

As long as I don’t look up.


What scenes, places, or stories remind you of your place in God’s universe? How do you remember to take the time to look up? Leave a comment to share the growth!

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