I’ve fallen into the belief that I am bigger than I am. We walk around in a culture that constantly screams at us, “You are as great as you want to be”, “You are the only one who can be there for you”, “You you you you you”. All we hear is how great we are, go individualism, forget everybody else, you’re all you need, and soon we let it go to our head. Our egos get bigger and bigger with every banner we see screaming about how we need to focus on ourselves. We believe that we are the best there is. Don’t get me wrong, loving yourself is a wonderful and necessary thing. I just fear that we’ve taken it too far.
I was driving after picking the five year old boy I nanny up from school one day and we were casually talking about his favorite cars. I nodded, gave an encouraging grunt and did my best to keep up. He knew more about cars than I did and I could see that my comments of, “That’s cool!”, just weren’t cutting it anymore. Suddenly, we got out of the strip of trees we were driving through and the road opened up over the city and the mountains became clear. I noticed the backseat grew quiet and when I looked, he had wide eyes and was staring straight ahead, lost in awe. Something had captivated him and pulled him away from the cars. I turned around and thought the view was beautiful then let the silence continue.
Look more carefully.
I glanced up once more and once again went back to the road.
You’re looking, but you’re not seeing.
Fine. I looked and did my best to see. The city was beautiful. The tall buildings scraped the sky. A ferris wheel turned brightly against the sunset. The highway below me was dotted with people heading home, one strip red, the other yellow. Yes, the city was great. Mankind is capable of incredible things.
Then I really noticed the background. The sky was painted with pinks and purples with a dash of blue here and there. The colors faded into the dark of night and I could see the sun sighing behind the mountains. The mountains towered behind the buildings that appeared so tall. The tips were covered in snow and reflected the colors more brightly than any building ever could. Suddenly, the city wasn’t so big. Even though mankind had built a large, beautiful city, God had created even taller, more beautiful mountains who prevail through the history of time. He had painted the sky with all sorts of colors mankind could never come close to. God was the one that placed each star in the sky and named them. Yes we built roads and cities, and yes we should celebrate them, but we often begin to think we’ve built everything ourselves and we deserve all the credit. It was God that made us. The almighty Creator had created beings to continue to create and add beauty to the world. He was the one that inspired us with new ideas to make these impossible buildings come to life, fill the roads with vehicles that take us distances further than ever before, and the one that gave us the tools to do so. The almighty Creator helps us to create yet we often mistake ourselves as the almighty one. We forget that it is because of this original beauty that we can make beautiful things.
I sat humbled in my car just as wide eyed as my passenger. When did I become so wrapped up in myself that I forgot to look past the city? I must have driven this road a thousand times and only now have begun to see.
The cities we build will eventually crumble or be replaced. They will be made bigger and better, taller and wider. Even when we think we have taken over the world, the mountains will still be in the back, towering over everything we think we can do. They’re a constant reminder of who created us. So lift your eyes a little higher, look a little harder and remember the mountains who have faded into the background.
We are big. We are great. But the mountains will forever be bigger and forever be greater, just like the almighty Creator.