Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Making a Big Deal Out of Everything

There's a certain sense in which for the Christian everything is a BIG deal. Yet on the other hand, there's another sense in which everything is, in the big scheme of things, pretty inconsequential. Christianity super-focuses our inherent sense of wonder and curiosity; it sensitizes us to the smallest "flickerings." But it also gives us a broad perspective of things, a deep tranquility in the trust that all things are guided by Providence, that "the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us" (Romans 8:18).

My suffering at the hands of another was a big enough deal for God to die for me, to suffer with me. At the same time, my suffering is something quite small, "not worthy to be compared" to what awaits me. It is something to be faced honestly, but in facing it honestly, we find that it's not really a big deal. Pride wants to puff it up, which is what pride does. Pride wants the slight to turn into a vendetta, ending in streets flowing with blood. Acknowledging the pain in honesty allows us to actually deal with the pain and to realize its smallness and be content with that.

My tendency to make things a big deal flows from my pride, my unwillingness to accept that I am a creature, dust. I want to be more than that, and in trying to be more, I cause chaos. It is only when I give up trying to be more and accepting what I am that God shines through in His full splendor. The humble creature is actually more.

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