Thursday, September 6, 2012

Very, very small

Over the Labor Day weekend, I did something that I have not done since childhood...if I even did it then. I lay flat on my back and looked at the stars. It was a very clear night. No clouds to cover up any of the twinkles. Just stars as far as the eye could see...and one satellite deliberately making its way across the night sky.

As I lay there taking it all in, I felt very, very small. The things that had been eating away at my peace of mind suddenly felt tiny compared to that big sky. Notice I did not say these things felt 'unimportant.' They felt 'tiny.' And, there's a difference. It's important to do my best in school. But, in the grand scheme of things, my accomplishments, or lack thereof, will be a tiny drop in the world.

That was a rather freeing thought. As human beings, it is the most natural thing in the world to begin to believe that the universe revolves around us. Everything is magnified through our point of view. Our accomplishments look bigger. Our problems look bigger. Our irritations look bigger. Our compassion looks bigger. Everything takes on larger proportions, and everything grows in its sense of urgency.

But, when you look up in the stars, you realize how very, very small we all are.

I am reminded of the verse from Psalm 8:

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?

What indeed? And, then, I'm right-sized least for a while.

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