The more I travel, the more I realize how small I am.
My job requires a decent amount of travel and our “season” is quickly approaching. When this travelling season hits, I will find myself on the road almost every single day with a new destination typed into my GPS. In the meantime, we are working a few conferences here and there. We just returned from St. Louis and I’ll be working in Tennessee this week, as well.
This facet of my work may not interest some but to me it is a dream. In the (almost) year that I’ve held my position, I’ve visited Tennessee, South Carolina, Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, and Virginia. My heart skips a beat when I’m presented with an opportunity to go somewhere new; somewhere different.
I suppose you could say that this passion for roaming began when I was a teenager. My family and I spent two years on the road, on and off, seeking to raise financial support to be missionaries. In that time span, I saw over twenty-five states and maybe a handful or two of national landmarks (Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, Empire State Building, etc…). In my later teenage years, I even spent a month in South Korea working as an English teacher for a missions agency. Pretty crazy, right?
No matter how much I travel, no matter how many roads I drive, and no matter how many different trees I stare at, I realize that I haven’t even seen the half of it.
Twenty-five states, a foreign country, and landmarks galore don’t even make a scratch on the surface of the places you can go, the things you could do, and the people you could meet. That’s an incredibly baffling thought.
If you really begin to think on it, you’ll probably begin to feel quite small yourself. Is that a bad thing? Not at all. In fact, I think it’s a necessary reminder.
It’s far too easy, in this day and age, to elevate ourselves to an unhealthy level. We have the world at our fingertips. Our opinions are only a click away from being broadcasted to the entire world.
Apart from our social media, sometimes our problems, troubles, or hurts can blind us from the incredibly beautiful world we have at our disposal. They can also distract us from our life’s purpose (Yes, your life has a purpose).
If that’s the case, I certainly don’t blame you or even criticize you. I have been in that place far too many times. My problems blot out the big picture and all I can see is myself. It’s as if I stood in front of a mirror and mashed my face all of the way against it. It would be a little difficult to see around me, above me, below me, or even past me. Too, I’d look like an idiot but who’s judging?
That’s the power of our problems, though. If we’re not careful, they can blind us and take over our perception. If we allow them to remain, over time our worldview will slowly warp and rot away. Soon enough, our worldview becomes a self view because that’s all that we can see and it’s the only thing we’ve been looking at.
Take a step back. Take a day to hike up a mountain. Get in your car and drive (take the kids if you have to). Go somewhere far away from your problems and remind yourself of just how small you are in the grand scheme of things.
No, your problems, pains, and trials are not in vain. No, they are not small nor are their effects nullen void by what I’ve just said. I’ve found that the smaller you make yourself, the smaller you realize your problems are.
Remind yourself of the vast world you live in, the endless universe you co-habitate, and the living, breathing organism that your spirit resides in. God is infinitely large and His love reaches heights you, nor I, could ever imagine. No matter the size of your problem, the pain your heart feels, or the sorrow you may experience, God’s love for you reaches into those depths and has the power to bring you out.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to the person who’s in need. Don’t let your circumstances have the power over you to fog your mind. There are, believe it or not, some who have it worse than you or I. Our purpose in life is to seek God and be love. How can we do those two things when we’re pre-occupied with our own selves?
I’m writing this to you on the opposite side of North Carolina that I’m typically on. I returned home from St. Louis last week, travelled to my destination this weekend, and will be meandering around Tennessee next weekend. I’m a restless soul whose heart longs for adventure. I don’t come without my problems but God’s love is more vast than the places I’ve seen, the darkness I’ve experienced, and the battles I’ve won. He alone is worth pursuing and my trials are far smaller than they may seem.
Make yourself small and watch your problems follow suit.