24 November 2011

Our smallness is reason enough to give thanks

On this day on which we give thanks to God for his many blessings and benefits to us, it is good to remember the words of King David:
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have established; what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that  you care for him (Psalm 8:3-4)?
This question is especially poignant when one considers the sheer scope of the cosmos:

As small as the earth is compared to the stars, we - you and I - are that much smaller than the earth!  We are not - I am not - the center of the universe, yet the Lord loves us nonetheless and desires our friendship.

This King David realized and so could go on to say, after contemplating his own smallness:
Yet you have made him little less than the angels, and you have crowned him with glory and honor.  You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the the paths of the sea (Psalm 8:5-8).
This is reason alone to give thanks to God. As small and seemingly insignificant as we are, still he loves.

Tonight, then, if the stars shine brightly where you are, take a few moments to stand beneath and contemplate the vastness of all of creation and remember your own littleness.  Then, call to mind the words of Meister Eckhart so fitting this day: "If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough."

Happy Thanksgiving!

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