I have a serious question for us to ponder today. Is bigger, better? I know that sounds like a funny question, but I believe its important for us to ask ourselves.
I grew up in a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath home with asbestos shingle siding. It had a carport that my parents closed in and added a laundry room/three quarter bath combination. As a small child, it seemed huge to me. My brother and I shared a bedroom until I graduated from high school. It was not a big place, it was very small and cramped. My mother always wanted a bigger house, someplace where everyone had their own room, plenty of bathrooms and recreational space. Finally, my mother realized her dream. My parents built a home on the side of a hill overlooking Canyon Lake. It was three stories, it was a huge place. For my mother, at the time, bigger was better. Later on in life, the house got to be too much for her and my father to care for, and too much to navigate in their later years. Hmmmmm…I guess bigger is better finally didn’t sound so good.
My parents loved to go camping, and we had this old used Terry Travel trailer that my father had renovated on the inside. It only had one bed, my brother and I slept on the floor. My parents would have to step over us early in the morning to start cooking breakfast. When my parents retired they bought a huge RV, some 45’ thing that was enormous. It had everything imaginable in it and plenty of sleeping spaces. My mother confided in me, she would give that up in a heartbeat to have all of us back in that cramped little trailer, sleeping on top of each other. Hmmmm…I guess bigger wasn’t better after all.
When it comes to our finances, we all would like to see more commas in our balance. Bigger certainly sounds like it would be better when it comes to how much money we have. What I’ve observed though, those with more money aren’t always happier. Sometimes, it has the opposite effect. A bigger bank account only serves to make people more anxious, not less. Hmmmmm…maybe bigger in regards our our balance sheet isn’t better.
Now I’m going to go out on a limb here, and unequivocally say bigger IS better in one circumstance I can think of. When it comes to how big we allow God to be in our understanding and our perspective. Too often, we short-change God. We keep God rather small in our estimation, God is easier to handle that way. As long as we can have God like all the same people we like, dislike all the ones we don’t care for, we can manage who God is to us. As long as we can understand God to be the one who punishes all the people who do the things we disagree with, everything is good. As long as we can perceive God is happy with our thoughts, our actions, the way we treat and think about others, then we can be pretty happy with God.
I wonder what it would be like if we expanded our understanding of God? How big can our God be when it comes to loving those we don’t love? How big can our God be when it comes to wanting to care for those street people, those immigrants, those without affordable healthcare? Do you think God is big enough to love the whole world? Even those we don’t know or agree with?
I saw a movie this week entitled “The Good Lie.” It was the story of a group of children who lost their entire village in Sudan to the soldiers who came and slaughtered everyone. This small band of children traveled over a 1,000 miles to try and find a safe place. Along the way one of them dies. Along the way, another one is captured by soldiers. They finally make it to Kenya and refugee encampment. They grow up into adults there. The day comes when they are told they have been selected to go to the United States. You cannot imagine their joy and excitement. In the final scene of the movie, one of these young men makes an extreme sacrifice for another. His image of God became huge that day.
All I can say is, when it comes to God, bigger IS better. Let’s all strive to allow our God to get bigger and bigger every day. I love each of you so very much, and because of you, God continues to get bigger and bigger for me.
Your fellow traveler on the Way,