It’s funny how easy it is to mistake the magnificent for mundane. How easily I shrug off the cosmos as ordinary because I choose to look down and feel important, rather than looking up and feeling very, very small.
The other night I took our garbage out, and instead of rushing inside away from the cold, I was compelled to look up. My breath hitched as the clear night sky opened up before me as though some untold secret waited there patiently until it was noticed.
The stars unfolded before me as soppy garbage dripped from the bag in my hands into the gravel, and I remembered the summer I spent staring into those cosmos on the other side of the equator; lying in a dilapidated truck in awe of the sky that swallowed me up. That sky that reminded me of my smallness, of the significance that is attached to every moment, every moment that I try and dismiss as ordinary or mundane.
And that sky reminded me again as I stood shivering in the Oregon landscape–garbage in my hand forgotten–because there was nothing else to do but praise the God who made it all and who is even greater than the incomprehensible night sky. And that mundane moment became spectacular. I could almost hear the stars whisper, laughing at me, as they told their secret, “even when you don’t praise him, we do.”
So, I’ll take those opportunities of lugging out our refuse, if only to remember my smallness, and the greatness of my God.
For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.