“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet …” (Psalm 8:3-6)
I run into people I know or who know my family pretty much everywhere I go. Before Noah’s first Sunday working at Creekside we had a “meet the new youth pastor” dessert night and I found out that Colette Aguirre’s second cousin is married to my mom’s sister. Seriously. A few days later, when the Vikings were playing the Packers in Monday Night Football, Noah and I went to Target to pick up a few things. I saw a woman in the aisle with her back to me and a Vikings hat on and I leaned in and said “I like your hat.” When she turned around we both gave each other looks of absolute surprise, huge smiles and big hugs peppered with “Oh my goodness!” and “What are you doing here?”. Noah was standing there wondering why I was hugging random people in Target and I introduced him to Christen, a girl I worked with in the Student Government office at the University of North Dakota. And the stories that I have like that go on and on and on.
People often talk about how it’s such a small world and sometimes it feels like that especially within the small boxes of our lives, our homes, our email accounts, phone alerts and Facebook statuses. But, when you look outside of all those things the world becomes so much bigger.
This past weekend we had a high school youth retreat in the mountains and there is no questioning how big the world really is when you stand and survey the wilderness. We did an exercise that night on the practice of being present. As we stood outside under the veil of night and stared up at the stars we were awestruck with beauty and grandeur and how amazing this universe really is. And then, as always happens when you look at the stars, someone said something to the effect of “Doesn’t it make you realize how small and insignificant we are?”
Why is it that we always equate small with insignificant? In the span of the universe, yes the Earth is teeny tiny, you and I are less than microscopic but we are not insignificant. If we are to praise the quaintness of a small world and then equate its smallness to being of no consequence we are telling the Creator of all things bright and beautiful that His story is not big enough for us.
This fear of being lost in the crowd, of never standing out has driven people throughout history to conquer lands and pillage countries and discover already inhabited place only to further their own names. The desire to not admit the grandeur of the world but to hold it under our thumbs and make it bend to our wills has been going on for millennia. There is a great fear in all of us that our size in relation to the mountains and oceans and galaxies means our worth is measured on the same scale. But we know that that is a lie. Because Jesus Christ so loved the world that He gave himself up for it, laying down the power to set galaxies in motion because to Him we are significant.
I am finding great solace in being small, comfort in knowing I cannot do or have it all, a concept which has never seemed attainable and never will be. It is good to know we have limits and that those limits were put in place by a limitless God whose limitless love spans time and space and gravestones and even our homes, emails and Facebook updates.
So, friends know this, you are small. Our church is small, our families are small our world is small but we are not now nor will ever be insignificant. The Creator of the universe set us as rulers over the work of His hands, this is a significant task, no matter how small you feel.
Ali can be reached via email here.