Recently, while I was showing some photos, someone asked if being surrounded by mountains, stars or huge expanses, makes me feel small.
To speak of feeling small brings up different ideas in my head. In my mind, it feels negative. Nobody likes to feel small. In social situations, feeling small generally has to do with realizing our own inadequacy, generally while seeing that someone else is so much more suitable than we are…and that doesn’t always feel good.
But there’s something different about the feeling of smallness that comes when I’m surrounded by the highest mountains, or under thousands upon thousands of stars, or looking across a great plain that stretches farther than the eye can see. In that moment, yes, I feel small…but I am surrounded by something that is so great and majestic, that my smallness makes perfect sense. In fact, I want to be small if that’s what being small means. When it comes to God’s creation, I chase after that. To be completely surrounded by wonderful scenes, so much so that it overwhelms me so that I don’t even know where to start taking pictures…
Our relationship with God needs to be the same. When we are confronted with His glory and have a restored relationship with him, not only do we feel small, but we want to be small, so that he would be great. Yet, it so often isn’t like this. And I think that the problem is similar to that of people and seeing the wonders of creation. We don’t take the time to go out and read the Bible…to roadtrip, so to speak, through the wonders of who God is. And so we don’t easily see his greatness…the greatness that makes us want to be small. It’s like trying to explain the grandeur of mountains to someone who has never been out of the farmland of Ontario.
I like to think that enjoying God’s creation and feeling small while doing so is actually part of how we can learn more about our Father in heaven. In a way, it’s become a big part of why I take pictures. I want people to catch of glimpse of that feeling of being small in the face of majesty.
I will be the first to admit that it’s easier to feel small when I’m surrounded by mountains, and much harder to desire smallness next to the greatness of my heavenly father. But I do know that I need to work on it, and really, it is something we need to strive for.
Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy Name!