Since we have downsized, scale has become an important dimension in my life. We have been shopping for a dining room table and chairs and I quickly realised that no matter how much I liked the furniture, if it was too big or too small or too wide or too long, it would not work well. And we are determined to work well in this space - to work with it and not against it. That being said, we must pay attention to dimensions and scale and proportion and adjust our expectations and wants accordingly.
The hind feet of my brain start to fidget every time I think about these things, so I know there is something important to be learned here, to be aware of. I know too many people who have crammed their small spaces full of stuff, either things too large or just too much. It makes one confused and unsettled when you walk in the room. Overly large items make a space seem smaller than it really is. Too small furniture and the room dwarfs you with its cavernous echoes and feels empty and bare.
I think most of us want big. We love large and dynamic and stunning and eye-catching. We also love more. More of everything. If we have liked something in small measure, certainly more is better. Always more. We can stuff in more.
I have seen people expect God to operate in this same way, with no regard for scale, proportion or capacity. I often do the same thing. I expect extremely big results and changes and revelations and miracles without taking into account how these large scale acts might impact the tiny space cleared for the divine. When we are touched in some way by a teaching or a reading or a song, we often fill our lives and homes with every teaching book, cd, dvd, and musical output available from a certain artist. I am not negating the usefulness of these tools, but oftentimes I think it is clutter. We think that more of the same is going to give us more of the experience. But there is no substitute for going to God every day for fresh and living bread. And things never happen the same way twice, to quote Aslan again from the movie, Prince Caspian.
Clutter means we have less room for the important stuff to live and breathe in our daily lives; we limit the capacity for new surprises and fresh truths to rearrange our souls into a more godly frame of being. Too large expectations mean that we miss the smaller scale of what God is doing right now. Focusing on not overextending ourselves by sticking with the small stuff leaves a big empty space that refuses to welcome others into it and results in a shriveled up soul.
How big is the place God has put me in? Am I working with it or against it? How big is my space for God? What am I filling it with?
This is but a small part of the vast Atlantic Ocean somewhere in New Brunswick on a cold foggy day in spring.