Jan 22 2012

Size Doesn’t Always Matter

This past Christmas I gave my lifelong friend and avid fisherman, Mark Dycus, a t-shirt with a fish and ruler on it.  Beneath these were the words “Size Matters.”  When it comes to fishermen and their catches I guess size probably does matter.  I get the impression, however, that we have developed into a society where size means far too much.  People spend a lot of money so they can have the biggest house, the biggest car, the biggest boat, the biggest whatever.  Others look to the size of their paycheck, the size of their wardrobe, or the size of their jewelry to validate their value.  In so many areas the world screams “size matters!”

I think in Creation God has lots of reminders that big is not always better.  Some of God’s most beautiful creations are quite small.  There are gorgeous flowers and insects so small you almost need a magnifying glass to see them.  Are they of less value because they are tiny?  I hardly think so.  I happen to enjoy photographing large landscapes but there is also great beauty in smaller, more intimate landscapes.  Size does not always matter.

When I was working on my Kentucky book a few years ago I visited Short Creek a couple of times.  Short Creek, located near Somerset, Kentucky, is thought by some to be the shortest creek in the world.  The creek’s water emerges from one cave and travels only a short distance before it disappears into another cave.  You can easily throw a rock from one cave to the other, the creek is that short.  Still, both the water of the creek and the cave into which it flows are quite beautiful.  You can see that in the pictures I’ve included here.

A person reading a travel guide noticing the size of Short Creek might choose to bypass it for one of Kentucky’s bigger creeks, rivers or lakes.  If they did, they would miss something special.  The same thing can happen to us when it comes to viewing God’s Creation.  We may choose to bypass that which is small for something larger and more “significant” and, in the process, miss something truly beautiful and special.  I’d suggest we all be more careful about overlooking the little things and places God has made.

This lesson from nature certainly applies to people as well.  Many of God’s special saints have been small, either in physical stature or influence.  Just because a person doesn’t have size in ways the world considers valuable doesn’t mean he or she is not beautiful and incredibly valuable.  When Samuel went looking for a king to replace Saul God told him to go to the house of Jesse to find him.  When Samuel saw Jesse’s oldest son he was confident that this must be the one God had in mind but God said to him, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)  When Jesus’ disciples tried to get a group of children gathered around him to leave he scolded them saying, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

Since both of God’s books, Creation and the Bible, teach us that size doesn’t always matter, perhaps it is time we started acting like it.  What do you think?

–Chuck