There is a towering cumulus cloud billowing to the west as the sun sets. Its internal hues lean just enough to darker grays and blues to declare that given the right atmospheric circumstance, it could have been a cumulonimbus. But the golds, salmons, and fuchsias progressively outlining its constantly changing shape allude more to rainbows than storms.

A jetliner is almost directly overhead, traveling from the east toward the airport some 30 miles west. Its approach takes it directly toward the cloud and sunset. It is plainly audible and visible, only a couple of miles above the ground, but steady, apparently flying almost level for the time being. It is obvious that it will clear the top of the cloud in about a minute. A minute passes, and it is equally obvious that it is nowhere near the cloud. A few more minutes pass, and the jetliner still has not arrived at the cloud’s outer boundary. In fact, as the jet’s formerly jumbo shape diminishes to a single dot in the distance, it has not only failed to span the distance to the cloud, but it has become obvious that if it ever does, it will be below it or near its bottom, not in the slightest approaching what are now so clearly the atmospheric structure’s much loftier pinnacles.

Paul tells believers the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the perfections which will be revealed in the end (Romans 8:18). The sometimes low roar, sometimes piercing screech, of our anxieties and failures appear in the moment to be greater even than the promise to our west. But inevitably, whether moments or months later, their form and significance practically disappear before eternity’s looming reality.

To a week shifting our skewed perspective from day’s sometimes daunting distractions to eternity’s always promising attraction.