Let me preface this by saying this has absolutely nothing to do with weight, body image, or slimming down.
The type of small I’m talking about is in regards to our perception of ourselves.
I have already been pondering why social media and our need to stay connected seems intertwined with how we view ourselves in a previous post. It seems our friends, our world, and our need to be noticed gets bigger and bigger with the accessibility and possibility of internet fame.
I want it, too. In 2014–or at least the second half of it–I hope my blog goes viral.
There, I said it.
I want to write one article about THAT topic that just catches fire. That my email temporarily crashes because it’s not used to having that kind of traffic. I hope I have so many readers that I can’t keep up with the demand.
I crave to be noticed, to experience success.
I could tell you that it’s all for the good of others. That I want to write about things that matter, and cause people to think rather than continue the epidemic of the blind leading the blind. I could promise you that my blog would be a catalyst for people to know God and know each other just a little bit better, and that I want to be known for “good” reasons.
But regardless of how pure and noble my desires may seem to be somebody, they are still rooted in my desire for…me.
Which also begs the question…. what’s the harm in that?
Is it wrong to want to do something so well that other people notice?
Is it wrong to pursue dreams and aspirations? To want to know what our limits are, and then push them even further?
Is it okay to fear an under-lived, under-accomplished, and under-experienced life?
No one goes to work thinking, “I hope I never get a raise. And I hope they don’t promote me either. That would just be too much.”
Everybody wants to keep walking forward, gaining ground in some way or another. The pace may look different and the goals might not be the same, but I haven’t met many people who want to stay in the spot they’re in forever. Relationships, jobs, hobbies, trades…most people want to continue growing, gaining and progressing.
And I honestly don’t see anything wrong with that.
But what about when a simple want turns into an obsession?
What about when we become blinded by the things that don’t matter because we want to matter?
When our desire for self-promotion and success becomes more important than anything else? So much so that it disrupts our own harmony and contentment, and a well-meaning goal turns into an I-can’t-live-without.
And I must confess, lately I have been dangerously close to abandoning who I am….my happiness, my contentment, my feelings of accomplishment… for the smoke and lights of who I could be if I just had _________.
And it’s more than just my blog; I would love to write a book, compete in the amazing race travel back to Europe, volunteer for medical missions and someday own vacation homes–yes, plural. I know I’m a dreamer, and I will always spend time letting my thoughts slip away to the things that could be. Dreaming is a part of who I am, and I like that about myself. But in my dreams for what could be, I sometimes am at risk of disliking what is.
And disliking what is…well, that’s a scary place to be.
The tiniest bird in the world is a species of hummingbird…the bee hummingbird (I don’t have extensive bird knowledge…this is all from a wiki search I did two minutes ago). These birds are about the size of bees, with nests 1 inch wide. Tiny, yes, but these birds are also stunningly beautiful (my bird lesson is wrapping up…just hang in there).
“The brilliant, iridescent colors of the bee hummingbird’s feathers make the bird seem like a tiny jewel. The iridescence is not always noticeable, but depends on the angle at which a person looks at the bird.”
A jewel that is not always noticeable, it just depends on how you look at it.
May we be a self-assured as these tiny little jewels, radiant regardless of what angle we are being evaluated by.
And as my harshest critic in a world that preaches the gospel of ourselves, may I strive to remain small.
Not to have small dreams or ambitions or desires. But small gripes and little entitlement. Small expectations of what is owed to me and a healthy reminder of what has already been given to me.
That I would think small of the things that are temporary, and not rest my identity on things that don’t really matter. That I would not build for myself my own empire and make myself the queen. Because trust me, nobody wants that.
May I always be sure of who I am. That my tiny role in the grand scheme of things would be more than enough to keep me satisfied and joyful.