Tuesday, December 6, 2011

On Being Small: An Advent Reflection

He must increase, but I must decrease. —John 3:30

Ann pointed this scripture out in her book.

And so here it goes...

I am small.

It's not easy to admit, that perhaps, to this world, I am but a spec of life. I am small. I am smaller than many trees, many bodies of water and even smaller than a six foot adolescent bear. I am so very small and I may even go as far to say that I am very weak. Yes, I am so very small and weak.

Many people don't like me. Many people don't like the things I do, the decisions I make, things I've said. It hurts and in turn makes me small. Many people have already judged me, have labeled me whether knowing me well or not knowing me at all. Some judgements are true and others not true, yet I've been decreased. I've been made small.  There are times when I judge, label and place self-importance. I've made mistakes, greatly sinned, struggle with things I only wish to have already overcome. In my very own lack of self-control I am weak...and small. I lack self-confidence, criticize myself constantly, never satisfied with what it is in front of me. My ingratitude makes me so very small. Sometimes I can't control my temper. Small. I yell. Small. I depend on the physical. Small. I wish for the greener side. Small. I'm no genius, I don't know much. Small.

But I whole-heartedly admit this self-insignificance with much love.

I am small and willing to get smaller so that I am no longer and God has taken over.

I must decrease, in however many ways He's willing to make that happen.

Because being small means I must depend solely on Him. Being weak means that I need Him to lift me up sometimes, to take the punches, to stand up for me. Small in me means great in Him because only through Him with Him and in Him can we be made great.

I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. — 2 Corinthians 12:10 (GNT)

I've much to learn about being small. I struggle with things, with people where instead I need to embrace my insignificance in the eyes of the world. Nothing here matters more than the world He has set up for me when this life is done. I believe in heaven. I believe in it so much that I will live this short life of trails to spend an eternity of peace. I will live it the way He's asked me to. In obedience, in servitude, in love, despite what storms may come against me. I shall live small. I will decrease.

And how fitting for the season we're upon.

Because if you think about how Jesus came into this world, a small infant, it makes us see how grand and joy-filled small can be.

We don't reject Baby Jesus, we celebrate His arrival. We wait in prayer, watch the scene, as Mary said Yes. We ponder St. Joseph's own Yes, his great faith in what God had planned for his life. We anticipate that road to Bethlehem, God protectively guiding a woman with child on such a treacherous journey. We're reminded of their troubles, their rejection, as each inn keeper said "Sorry, no room," the town brought to life, while Baby Jesus became ready to greet the world in this lowly form. We're amazed at how a squalid place for animals becomes a holy glorious site. And we follow a once small star, shine brightly for the whole world to follow and greet the beautiful Son of God.

The smallness, the quietness of our Advent season, it reminds me of how small is grand. Advent brings us full circle to ourselves, reminding us to come to Him small as He came to us. Make ourselves small so that Baby Jesus has room to grow.

...so I must decrease...because He will increase and I welcome His presence with open heart.

God bless!