when feeling insignificantly small

“If you once realize that to-morrow,
if not to-day, you will die and nothing will be left of you,
everything becomes insignificant!”

Leo Tolstoy

(a lone little sanderling eyes both sea and beach / Julie Cook / 2017)

The morning reading began with a portion of Psalm 119.

Incline my heart to your decrees and not to unjust gain.
Turn my eyes from watching what is worthless, give me life in your ways…

Psalm 119:37

The reading was actually verses 33-40 but it was verse 37 that actually reached
out and grabbed me by both shoulders.
It shook me so hard and fast that it caused me to reread what I had just read twice!

I grabbed a pen.

I underlined.

I digested.

And then I felt a sense of a galactic knowingness…an invisible nod from a great
and distant Source that approvingly found satisfaction in the
“by jove, I believe she’s got it” moment of knowing.

I think it was the part about “turning my eyes from watching what is worthless….
give me [rather] life in YOUR ways….”
(with accent and brackets being mine…).


in a nutshell!

Maybe it’s because that’s what I’ve been doing all these many months.
I’ve been watching this whole global and national situation as if being some sort
of innocent bystander.
Someone who is watching madness unfold yet is either being held hostage or is
helpless to do anything of any real significance to stop the madness.
As both society and culture…careen out of control.

And then there came the readings closing prayer….

Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly;
and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away,
to hold fast to those that shall endure;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Collect for the Sunday closest to Sept 23rd, Book of Common Prayer

As in let me not be anxious, fretful, depressed, overwhelmed, sad, frustrated
about earthly things…BUT [rather] love things heavenly…hold fast to that which will endure—that being Jesus Christ who lives and reigns along with the Holy Spirt
and the One True God…for ever and ever…

And whereas I have at time felt very much like a small insignificant David standing in the shadow of an overwhelming Goliath….as the world and her ills have appeared more than challenging, more than daunting, more than overwhelming…
as I add to that my own more seemingly insignificant yet equally comsumming
issues of life, God has spoken…
He has not forgotten as He remains consistent and steadfast…
Nothing is too great or too overwhelming for a great and Awesome God…

And the people were heard to say AMEN!

16 comments on “when feeling insignificantly small

  1. @vapor_sage says:

    By Grace, I have been able to remain detached from the despair abiding in Him. Praise Jesus, Amen

  2. Lynda says:

    We need only to keep our eyes on Jesus and our feet firmly planted in our Lord in order to move through each day. It is not always easy but if we remind ourselves of how God has been present in the past and that Jesus promised to be with us always, then we can focus on “the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him.” (2 Timothy 1:12). That does not excuse us from working to make things better but we have the assurance that God is with us and all is not lost.

  3. Tricia says:

    I sympathize much with what you wrote Julie. I seem to swing widely between being tuned in 24/7 to what’s going on in the world and unplugging completely for the sake of my sanity. There’s a sort of balance we must find though because it’s especially important now for people to remain engaged and contribute in their own way against the madness, which I think your blog here is a fine example of. Only by keeping our eye firmly on Jesus as you say can we do this without becoming despondent.

    • Agreed Tricia—and I’ll be the first to admit that I swing back and forth. Yet the swinging is due to seeing the reality of what is happening…and what is happening isn’t pretty.
      You are absolutely correct in that we must still be engaged. We cannot totally unplug and run down the street singing loudly to ourselves with our fingers jammed in our ears while wearing blinders on our eyes. And I’m afraid there are many who have chose to do just that—enter the “feel” good, pie in the sky fellowship to help sooth those frayed nerves…lulling the faithful into complancey.
      I’m all too aware that what is needed is indeed Holy warriors. But here’s the thing….the world reads ‘Holy warrior’ and immediately points a condemning finger shouting ‘ you are no different than radical Islamics!’
      And if they knew anything about our Faith–they would be able to answer their own inflammatory proclamation—for we are armed not with the tangible sword, or bomb, or gun or ignorant intolerance…but rather with the sword of Righteousness and Holy Wisdom!!!

  4. oneta hayes says:

    It does make sense to hold on to what endures, doesn’t it? And it does make sense to quite watching the worthless. There seems a bit of difference to me between “watching” what is worthless and “seeing” what is worthless. Am I stretching it a bit. Watching seems to be placing out focus on; seeing is having an awareness of what is happening. So we can “watch” our Lord and focus on his control, the same time we “see” the worthlessness or wickedness of the world. Julie, did I say what I want to?

  5. SLIMJIM says:

    What a needed reminder with all that’s going on in the world and also our own eyes and heart being prone to wander…

  6. Citizen Tom says:

    I threw out the TV over 30 years ago. Wasn’t out of any great wisdom. Just got mad at it because it distracted me my children, and my wife fretted even then over the sex and the violence. I just decided I had better things to do.

    It would be silly, perhaps, to say that the mass media is an instrument of Satan. Nevertheless, the mass media does not exist for our good. It exists to provide an audience for advertisers and to propagandize us for the betterment of the corporate interests that own it. So we should not trust it or allow it to manipulate us.

    For the most part we are still better off reading the news. Newspapers are still out there, and there is plenty of print media online. Because the written word forces us to think — actively participate in gaining understanding — I think we are better off reading the news. Reading the news online also gives us more opportunities to consult varied sources.

    • I worked with a man, a superintendent and media specialist who had was of the same mindset…I taught his kids so hearing the two perspectives was always a hoot…
      they had a t.v. but no cable…and the only channel they could watch was PBS….
      no granted I too enjoy PBS I do take issue even with some of their showings and take on shows, but overall, enjoyable—but his teenagers at the time were always silent when it came for the class as they worked to chat about who performed on American Idol etc….
      But as a parent, I commented my colleague.
      We have a television and we watch local news, jeopardy and college football…and that’s about it and even that can be more than enough!

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