Standing and Staring

10And while they were staring into the sky as he was going, two men suddenly stood with them in white clothing. 11They said, “Galileans! Why are you standing looking into the sky? This Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven will return in the same way that you have seen him go into heaven.” — Acts 1:10-11

I’m sure we have all experienced some danger and disruption as we pass an accident scene or emergency vehicles. Drivers will inevitably be looking over the scene to see what happened, and their attention will be taken from what they’re supposed to be doing. You might here someone say, “It was like a train wreck. I didn’t want to watch, but I just had to!”

Sometimes it’s a good place in our lives or in our travels. There’s a wonderful overlook at Crater Lake in Oregon. When you walk out there, you are just awestruck by the scene. It’s hard to leave. Can you really go back to a city after you’ve seen such beauty? I’m sure each of us has their place and their moment when you were at a place you just couldn’t leave.

As you see each of those moments, your time at each of those places slipping away, you wish you could just hang on a little bit longer and keep that feeling for another moment. But inevitably the “perfect” times slip away.

The disciples found themselves in just such a place. Jesus had been with them for most likely a little over three years. They thought they’d lost him at the crucifixion, but then, beyond their fondest dreams, he came back and was with them again. Now they see him go away. It’s spectacular. It’s special. Is it any wonder the disciples stand there just staring at the sky?

The two men, clearly angels, have a message for them. He’s coming back the same way. That was a good reminder because the disciples knew that they had a task to do. So when the men were gone they got moving again.

How is it with your spiritual life? Have you been caught gazing up into the sky, looking for the thing that has already passed? Are you standing on the last place you saw Jesus or felt his Spirit and hoping he’ll come do it again if you just don’t move? If so, it’s natural. We like to go back to places where our spirits have been fed. We like to stay there when possible.

But ask yourself whether Jesus hasn’t given you some directions, some places you’re supposed to go, people to meet, things to do! He probably has. He’s not limited by the place or the time. He doesn’t want you to be either.

So is it standing and staring, or going, doing, and finding more?

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