Do you remember the first time your brain began to comprehend just how big the universe really is? I was sitting in Mr. Streisel’s science class as he explained, one overwhelming detail at a time, how incomprehensibly big the universe is, how fast we’re hurtling on this beautiful planet, and just how tiny I am. I couldn’t tell you a single word he said or one specific detail he shared, but he captured the vastness in a way all the mobiles and posters, and pages and paragraphs of description I’d read simply hadn’t yet.
In that moment, I felt simultaneously awed, exhilarated, terrified, powerless and inconsequential. And I loved it! I wanted to laugh and cry and sing and scream all at the same time. So with all the emotional maturity of a seventh grader, I put my hands up over my head like I was on a roller coaster and said, “Whee!”
Sometimes, if only for a moment, I get a similar feeling when I think what we, the people who call this planet home, are capable of doing for the good. Yes, we’re capable of great hurt, but let’s save that conversation for another week. Let’s pause the rhetoric, shush our inner cynic and if only for the day tear up our list of all that is wrong with the world. For just a moment, lets consider our potential as a world community for good, for beauty, for love and compassion.
This Sunday, we’ll hear a reminder that God has given us each gifts for the common good.
Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful! -1 Corinthians 12: 7 (The Message)
Think about the sheer amount of gifts and talents scattered across our planet. Or narrow it down to consider the skill and experience in our community. Imagine what we could do, for the good of all, with your gifts and mine, your children’s’ creativity and courage, your neighbors’ ingenuity and practicality, your therapist’s compassion, your grocer’s wisdom, your physician’s insight, your contractor’s eye for detail, your bus drivers’ curiosity, your hair dressers’ wit, your coach’s encouragement and discipline.
Join me in a moment of holy dreaming. Think what a difference we could make, what a beautiful impact we could create, if we all used our God given gifts to build up, to bless, to create, to heal and soothe and comfort. How are you using the gifts God has given you to add beauty, love, and wonder to the world? Or as Mary Oliver might ask, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
I’ll see you on Sunday,
Need a little inspiration? Or wonderful rabbit trails to follow through the world of Ted Talks and YouTube (tomatoe/tamahtoh)