The Norman Transcript

May 17, 2013

The humbling height of glory

By Bruce Kessler
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — From a capsule suspended in space Oct. 14, some 24 miles above Roswell, N.M., Felix Baumgartner climbed out in a spacesuit, then — teetering on a special built platform for a few seconds — jumped.

Within 40 seconds, Baumgartner broke the sound barrier, reaching speeds up to 830 mph. Minutes later, he landed safely on earth, where — falling to his knees — he lifted his arms in jubilation. He would humbly say to this experience, “Sometimes you have to go really high to see how small you are.”

I appreciated and was touched by the serenity and humility of his statement. We blow through each day, taking little notice of the precious little details that life is made of and the reality that we are part of a bigger more glorious plan. The old saying becomes true that “we cannot see the forest for the trees” as we immerse ourselves in our daily routine called life. How remarkable we can live so close yet remain so far away from experiencing life and truth.

I reflect on this each time my granddaughter, Karli, comes over and we go out to play or go swinging. We have a little song that we sing while swinging: “Papa and Karli swinging on a tree, swinging, swinging, swing, swing, swing.” She insists that I swing with her instead of pushing her. She would rather I be by her side, and that is what makes her so special.

I am humbled by her wise innocence and unfailing love. Yet, as we swing and sing to new heights of glory, my eyes are open to the vibrancy and brevity of life. I recognize just how small I am. Life becomes more precious, indeed.

“Life is short, God’s way of encouraging a bit of focus.” — Robert Brault

Every day, there is a prodding or a little nudge trying to get our attention so we will open our eyes.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day, they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world …” — Psalms 19:1-4.

At a velocity of 830 mph, Baumgartner’s height of glory to dropping to his knees on earth lasted for just a few minutes. What an amazing ride. Our life is much the same way — superfast and immensely entertaining.

“… For what is your life? For you are a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.” — James 4:14

The humbling height of glory is both amazing and inspiring.

“Teach us to number our days so that we may truly live and achieve wisdom.” — Psalms 90:12

Have you become so busy and blinded that the beauty and wonder of life is all but a memory? Open your heart and your mind to God, then you will see clearly.