In 1967, Joni Mitchell wrote the song “Both Sides Now”, a haunting song of many verses:
Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all
The song has several other verses. She wrote it after reading a book where the author was talking about flying over Africa and how due to modern technology we can fly above the clouds and see them from both sides (verse 1) and then in day-to-day life (verse 2) what clouds mean. She told in an interview that it occurred to her that we should see both sides to everything and not be afraid to die, it is just another side of where we are now. What clouds are in your life now? Which one is the one to follow? Do you ponder the clouds?
Over the past couple of weeks I have had clouds come up in several things I have read. I found over 147 times in the Bible where God refers to or uses cloud(s). God used a cloud to guide Moses and the children of Israel through the desert. The cloud stopped, they stopped … it moved, they moved. In a book I just finished reading the girl prays for God to guide her in choices by helping her follow His “cloud”. I heard Joni Mitchell’s song on the radio this week and started thinking about the “cloud” God is using in my life now. Then yesterday I was walking through Annapolis with my good friend Karen and looking at a clear blustering sky with varying sizes of clouds. I told her of God using “clouds” to guide me.
Figuratively, clouds are everywhere. There is a “cloud” on my blog that helps people find this post based on the key words they put in their browser. When I stare at the clouds in the sky I imagine I see shapes. Phil and I sometimes look up and show each other those shapes. We laugh and share stories based on what is brought to mind.
I can look to the sky and there are all types of clouds depending on the day and I decide if I need to dress for cold, rain or heat. The weatherman tells us what clouds are coming and what to expect. “Clouds” help us to decide many things if we consider them and look at them from both sides. In life these “clouds” take many shapes. God places “clouds” and more specifically A CLOUD in our life to guide us. Looking at the cloud from both sides (His and ours) and taking the time to think about it in prayer with Him, helps us to make decisions. God still guides us today through our “cloud”. You know what it is and you choose to follow the “cloud” or make a conscious decision to ignore the way you need to go. When you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit will guide you in your daily and life’s decisions. Remember, as parents, how you make your decisions is how you teach your children to make decisions. What do they see you do when faced with a choice?
The Bible says,
James 1:5 HCSB
“Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him.”
Unlike the song,
“It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all”,
we can look towards Him with full confidence; with no disillusionment and know our “cloud” will guide if we will only follow Him.