I have this visual in my head.
It’s the image of me and the image of God…and they are so vastly different.
In this image, I am so very, very small.
I am barely a speck within this massive cosmic universe.
I am a thimble.
I cannot hold much.
What I can hold is quite limited.
What I can’t hold is very, very expansive.
It reminds me of a time when I stood on top of a large building in the city and looked down. Everyone was going about their day, unknowingly being watched from above. They looked so small from my vantage point. The cars and vehicles we plodding along and they almost looked like ants in a line. It never seemed to stop or slow down…it just…kept moving. The distant sounds of horns blaring and tires screeching could be heard, and it seemed suddenly quite silly.
Sometimes I wonder if this is how we look to God.
I wonder if He peers down at us…then again, where did we ever get this notion that He is looking down from somewhere? Could it be that He is right next to us…could it be that he is holding our thimbles in his hands? …(okay, now I’m silently humming “he’s got my thimble in his hands…”)
But in reality I wonder sometimes if we are so consumed in our lives with trying to cram every single thing into our tiny vessels.
We try to cram in success.
We try to cram in popularity.
We try to cram in things and money and cars and homes and happiness and love and acceptance and families and jobs and contentment and places and desires and dreams and politics and rights and wrongs and judgement and….you get it don’t you? That’s one long run-on sentence and yet, in a way, that’s what we’re doing to our lives.
Sometimes we do too much.
We pile our “stuff” too high.
We demand far more of ourselves than God does of us…
We think that doing “things” in some sort of right order is what honors God, and then pretty soon those things sometimes replace or unknowingly take the place of God because it all has to be in the right order and done in the right way and polished to a tee…and so we work really, really hard at something that should be about God but it becomes all about us…
I keep coming back to this image.
How many times am I attempting to pour the whole ocean into my thimble?
How many times am I attempting to do this insane, impossible thing?
How many times do I come away from this “work” feeling defeated and, in no way have I gone even a few inches from where I started?
maybe we weren’t created to carry the entire ocean around in our thimbles.
Maybe that’s not how this whole thing works.
My family and I went this past summer.
We live in the cold north and so going to the beach means traveling a long distance.
So we drove, and drove and drove…finally we got there only to have like three days to enjoy the beach…and so we soaked up the sun and the sounds and the sand for as much time as we could. We did all of the dumb touristy things. We collected shells and bought overpriced souvenirs and we attempted to take the beach back home with us by the bucket full and because it was also caked in the carpets of our van.
Do we attempt to fill our thimbles with the entire ocean because we feel it will suddenly disappear? Is this how we think about God?
I mean, if we don’t make this mad dash to overflow our thimbles with His infinite ocean do we fail at this holy life? Is that what being a Christian is all…about?
Are we like ants in a line as we go to church and carry our bibles and dress the part and look good “dressing the part”….
In a very real way have we lost the true meaning of what a “Christ-follower” is all about in this insane rat race of rituals and practices?
Are we attempting to empty the entire ocean into our thimbles when God doesn’t work that way? …and as we do these things are we becoming more and more frustrated, disillusioned and lost?
Matthew 10:10 says…
Can we just simply come to Him and experience life without trying to swallow it whole while pouring the entire ocean into these thimbles? Can we experience this abundant living by being content with what and who we are and what He is giving to us?
Jesus said that he had living water and if we drank from that water we would never be thirsty again…is that enough for us? Can we just sit by that well and realize that the ocean isn’t going anywhere?
Perhaps it’s time to stop the rat race.
Perhaps it’s time to stop attempting to fill our thimbles with the entirety of the ocean as we are never satisfied.
Something more to ponder today.