Saturday, January 14, 2006

Britches a Little too Big for the Wearing

"Britches a Little too Big for the Wearing" This is a phrase my grandpa used to say to me as a kid when I showed up with pants a little to big for me. He also used to used this idiom when I would try something I wasn’t quite able enough or big enough or strong enough or whatever enough to do by myself. It seems that we often have a tendency to think of ourselves a few sizes bigger than we really are. Often, we need some help with reorienting ourselves. The following account is very helpful in these regards.

William Beebe was no armchair scholar. His extensive knowledge of nature was gained from explorations into the jungles of Asia and South America, and to the bottom of the ocean in the world’s first bathysphere.

Beebe had much in common with his friend Theodore Roosevelt, who also loved nature and exploring. Often after a visit at Sagamore Hill, Beebe recalled, he and the President went outdoors to see who could first locate the Andromeda galaxy in the constellation of Pegasus. Then, gazing at the tiny smudge of distant starlight, Beebe or Roosevelt would say:

“That is the spiral galaxy of Andromeda. It is as large as our Milky Way. It is one of a hundred million galaxies. It is 750,000 light-years away. It consists of one hundred billion suns, each one larger than our sun.”

After that thought had sunk in, Roosevelt used to flash his famous toothy grin: “Now I think we are small enough.” And the two men would retire, put in their place by the limitless universe.[i]

Read the following passages:

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the 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? You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You made him ruler over the works of your hands; you put everything under his feet: all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
(Psalm 8:3-9)

“Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

What is the source of our significance?

View the pale blue dot and read Dr. Sagan's quote. How can you reorient yourself with humility this week and honor the one who did come to "save us from ourselves"?

[i] Tan, P. L. 1996, c1979.

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