Saturday, October 17, 2015

Tiny Problems

In a discussion about when we pray, I shared that one of my most powerful times to pray is on Wednesday nights in winter when I take the trash to the curb. Our driveway is quite long, and as I gaze up at the black sky full of stars and planets and the occasional meteor, I find it impossible not to appreciate the greatness of God and my own tiny little place in His Creation. I must, must!, express gratitude for that.

So now the joke among my church friends is that garbage reminds Susan to pray.

I'm okay with that.


The ocean provides a similar effect. The steady beat of waves on a shore, the rhythm linked to space and the moon, the sense that you could never, ever control that massive entity teaming with life and energy and death...the ocean is, indeed, big enough and powerful enough to make us feel very, very small.

A regular check on our hubris grounds us and reminds us that those problems which distract our waking hours and disturb our sleep don't mean as much as we want them to mean. We need to let go of our self-importance and maintain some sense of perspective.

Perhaps praying while taking out the garbage isn't so strange after all.

Where do you go to make your problems tiny?


  1. Susan this is just a wonderful reminder.

    Like Louis Giglio says in his Indescribable speech : "I'm not trying to make you feel small. You ARE small".

    Or the President Roosevelt example (not sure if this is true - read it in a couple of places) :
    President Roosevelt would sometimes take his guests outside after dinner and direct their attention to the night sky. They would locate the lower left hand corner of the Great Square of Pegasus and then a small hazy blur nearby. Then he would say, "That is the spiral galaxy in Andromeda. It is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of a hundred million galaxies. It is over 750 million light years from us. It contains 100 billion suns, each larger than our sun." Then he would pause and continue, "Now I think we feel small enough. Let's go to bed".

    Stars, mountains, sea, the view from a plane ... of clouds or tiny countryside below .... and even huge crowds (like when I was in London) make me realise how tiny I am.

    1. Janet, oh how I love these stories. Thanks so much for sharing them!

  2. Every night at dusk when I step out to the back forty to feed the chickens I pause to study the crescent tipped over moon, or perhaps the iridescent pink and gold sky or maybe the way the cold air makes everything look like it's underwater and I feel small in a world created by a God who could think up such things.

    1. How wonderful to live a life with that daily reminder!

  3. Love the responses. I sometimes wish I lived in the wide open, so I could see sky uninterrupted by city lights and buildings.

    In other news, I'm happy to remember to take out the trash.


Thanks so much for taking time to comment!