“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens…when I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:1, 3-4)
Perhaps you think well of your place in this world, poised as you are to ascend the next rung your luxuriously-clad feet now perch upon. You stamp your mighty heel, and the floor beneath you shakes and snaps to attention. People scamper at your bidding and bow to your impressive title; you are, indeed, viewed as grand. Keenly aware of your rank in relation to the crowd, you ensure others keep this thought uppermost in their minds as well.
But take a journey across the earth, gauge yourself and gain perspective by what you see. Measure your stature by the massive boulders that rise as the snow-clad Swiss Alps; decked in brilliant white finery with the bearing of royalty, they pose in the throne room of majestic blue skies. Travel further to grasp the measureless highway of desert sand with ridges running endlessly, framed by the burning sun that could instantly obliterate life. Compare their grandeur to your own, and thoughtfully reassess your perceived importance.
Sail across the stretches of ocean brimming with exotic creatures, and realize you are but a trivial drop in comparison, no matter how exclusive the vessel under your control. Sense the smallness of your size, your inability to prevent the waves from crashing or the seas from recapping their endless rhythm and style. Peruse any city museum, read the names of forgotten painted heroes, and take in the cold marble busts of kings and commanders with unrecognizable names. They once thought themselves essential, but now bystanders only glance in their general direction and continue on, indifferent to the significance they once held. Prominent Caesars, pharaohs, queens, and all of them combined, hardly left a ripple in their wake.
Re-evaluate and acknowledge that you make a miniute mark on the records stacked for eternity. Positioned in a slim slice of history, you are on this planet for a brief spell. For what reasons has God placed you here? His breath fills you, and you bear his image as daughter or son – skin and bones, heart and brain, possessing an everlasting soul that soars past all clocks and calendars.
Discover it, and distinguish yourself. For him. And along the way, swallow every morsel of your pride.
Father, help us realize just how selfish we are, how easily pride dominates and controls us. Give us awareness of our tendency to posture and promote our own agenda. May we imitate your spirit of humility and walk before you mindful of your enormous worth and not our own.
Elizabeth A Mitchell
Photo Credit: Joshua Earle on Unsplash