Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Appropriate Smallness

We (me, Barie, and the three boys - we left Brynlee with grandmothers) just returned from a great family getaway last weekend in Colorado. We had booked some cheap Southwest tickets when they were available last fall and spent three nights up in Estes Park - right next to the entrance to the Rocky Mountain National Park. Our intent was to spend some intentional time with our sons and let them have some firsts that they have been talking about for a long time - riding on a airplane, playing in the snow, seeing the mountains, etc.

What I didn't expect was how refreshing the time would be for me spiritually. I told the kids during our time in Colorado that if they listened (according to Psalm 19 and Romans 1), they could hear creation crying out, "God is awesome!" It was so cute to listen to them stop us on the trails in the national park and say, "I can hear it." In reality, I needed to hear the words of Psalm 121 that says, "I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my hope come from? My help comes from the Lord." In looking at the enormous size of the mountains and their beauty and grandeur, I was reminded of the size and beauty and grandeur of our God. We serve the God who made everything that I was seeing from nothing. My Father is the God of all creation - easy to forget, isn't it?

I think in the daily grind of life and ministry that it is easy to forget the awesomeness and hugeness of God. I know that I am tempted to think too highly of myself and too lowly of God. But the mountains reminded me of my place. I am one person on a planet with over six billion people. My life is brief - the Bible compares it to a vapor that is here today and gone tomorrow (James 4:14) - and so small when compared the greatness and glory of God. Why am I so tempted to forget this and be so full of pride? The truth is that the mountains I saw were a small part of the creation we see on earth - mountains and oceans and clouds and fields. And the earth is one small part of a giant universe that include billions of stars and planets. And God is bigger than this - the Maker of all.

I am not depressed by this truth - in fact, it reminds me how remarkable the love of God is as seen in the gospel of Jesus Christ. But I am humbled by this truth. I see myself again with appropriate smallness. God is God and I am not.


Brent said...

This entry is why I have, on occasion, had my students stand on beaches and yell at oceans...


Elizabeth said...

I wonder why it is that we always feel so close to God in the mountains? Maybe that was God's intent in creating the mountains? So glad that you all had a great trip and everyone is feeling better!
Love, Mom