Wow. This is a strange “beauty in the _____” prompt. Beauty in the insignificance? How can there be beauty in the inconsequential and unimportant things of life? I suppose that is the task of this entire endeavor, to find beauty in the unlikeliest of places…but insignificance?
But there might just be something here.
It seems like everything in our world goads us towards puffing out our chest and proclaiming, “I’m important! Listen to me!” From marketing, to job performance, to parenting books, to family systems, to social media, to low-key competition in friendships our fragile societal ecosystem conspires against us to prove our value and lasting significance.
Maybe you don’t feel it so keenly, but I do. It feels like this script is etched into my bones. Goodness, I am often caught up in the endless cycle of trying to prove that I matter, that I am strong enough, sensitive enough, or spiritual enough to belong in my community.
The Old Testament is a treasure trove of strange but significant moments. On any number of occasions a writer will tell the story of a king, but when the king dies, the story just moves on, often without a transition sentence. When the great King David dies, the text moves on to tell the story of King Solomon.
And then Ecclesiastes chapter 1 reminds us that the world is caught up in futility. The word on repeat is vapor; our lives are vapor, here today and gone tomorrow. All of our effort and striving will soon be forgotten, our accomplishments will fade, and our name will eventually be memorialized on a gravestone that will be weathered by the elements.
We are insignificant creatures, living small lives; we are but a point in history.
But I think there is something for us, something to see as beautiful. I think we’re called to a holy insignificance.
This is what I mean: yes I’ll be forgotten, the story of humanity will move on, my memory will fade, and my accomplishments will vanish BUT our lasting significance is not in if we are remembered or immortalized.
How marvelous and magnificent is it that God knows who you are, that He values you, that He has given you gifts and passions, that He gives us things to find beautiful? How mind boggling is it that we are united to Jesus? How incredible is it that God listens and responds to our prayers, that He is concerned with our joy and delight?
How inspiring is it that while we are small creatures, God draws near to us, sings a song of love over us, and asks us to be with Him?
Yes, we are small insignificant creatures, yet God calls us to participate in His grand story of redemption, He beckons us towards love and delight. God sees all of your anxieties and shame; He sees your frailty and helplessness; He sees YOU…and He wants you.
Maybe there’s beauty in the insignificance because significance isn’t what we need; what we need is his affection and love.
I do not have a great connection from my meal to Beauty in the Insignificance; this dish is just pure deliciousness.
1 lb Jimmy Dean Hot Pork Sausage
2 10oz cans of Rotel Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
16oz Cream Cheese
Cook sausage thoroughly
Drain tomato juice from Rotel cans
Add cans of Rotel in pan
Add cream cheese
Stir until cream cheese is melted
Simmer for a bit
Enjoy with Tostitos Lime chips, or whatever tortilla chips fit your fancy
Take a moment to examine yourself, how can you marvel at God’s grace, at His beauty? How can you rest in the bigness of God and view your life as participation in His narrative of love? How is this freeing for you? Does it allow you to create more audaciously or sing louder? Does it invite you to risk and fail and risk again?
This song is among my favorites because it reminds me that I will eventually return to dust. This frees me I am freed to risk and love without abandon.
Kings Kaleidoscope: Dust - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0_uROWStpc
Father, Son, Spirit, thank you that you are eternal and lovely. Thank you that you care about me finding beauty in all of life. As I think on the vapor like state of my life, remind me of Your nearness, Your goodness, Your song of delight over me. There is beauty in my insignificance because you gift me with your presence and nearness. Draw me to see the loveliness and goodness of this.
Father, let this move me towards daring action.
T: @chris_lash; I: @clash0123