Last Sunday I posted about the transitory blessings of all things beautiful in this world … and this week this picture showed up on social media. Three of these ravishing beauties (#1,2,5) comprised some of the most wondrously beautiful things in my sojourn–Mach 1+ transitory blessings, though not in these way cool USAF Thunderbird paint schemes. (The paint matters not when you’re in the saddle.) In due time, if they don’t crash and burn, all of them end up in the “Boneyard” in the desert near Tucson and I’ll be flying with the angels.

Try as I might I have never found words that better convey the blessings of those airborne moments than WW II Canadian fighter pilot John Gillespie McGee Jr., who wrote this poem shortly before he was killed.


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. Hov’ring 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 nor ever 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.

In these latter days this unworthy, a dream chaser all my life, still dreams– grateful dreams of dreams come true, of God’s amazing grace. I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good … in all circumstances, from the windswept heights to sandy sea level, from the idyllic tranquility of a heartland farm to the chaos and carnage of Southeast Asia, from supersonic youth to sedentary codgerhood. And I delight in anticipatory dreams of an infinitely better life, a level of happiness this wonderful life has only hinted at, promised by our Sovereign God. What a day, glorious day that will be!

“… there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).

See you in church.

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