I took a bike ride this weekend. Not just any bike, but a motorcycle. Not just any motorcycle, but a Harley. With cushy seats and a smooth ride. The imperative part is I trusted the driver. The fun part is I got to be a passenger. I am never the passenger.
As a single mom, I’ve always been the driver, and it felt like I was always driving somewhere—school, work, the grocery store, wrestling practice, band practice, football games, wrestling tournaments—well, you get the picture. And even if I was driving, I rarely got the opportunity to just look around and marvel at the world because I was always on my way somewhere, and usually we were in a hurry, so the focus was point A to point B.
So, I really enjoy getting to be a passenger. I look around, I feel the air on my face (I always wear a full helmet, but there’s still air), I hear road sounds, I see deer and bunnies and birds and cows. It is very tactile, and it fulfills my tactile need.
This time, something else hit me. As I was looking around and seeing things and feeling things and smelling things (there were a couple of skunks…), I looked up—mostly because the threat of rain was hovering and I periodically studied the clouds—and as I studied the clouds, I really noticed the clouds.
There they were, all white and gray and round and fluffy and straight and whispy, in the ginormous blue sky. Here I was feeling all taken care of with good weather and a safe ride, being one with nature and what not. Everybody now…oohhmm. But then I suddenly felt very tiny. I was a tiny chick on the back of one Harley riding down one road in one city of the whole world.
And I felt insignificant.
As I was praying for good weather and a safe ride, and being thankful for the opportunity to be out in nature, something I always do, my tiny-ness made me wonder why I even matter, how my existence has any impact on the world—the huge, giant, busy world that goes on about its business not caring one whit that I was thoroughly enjoying myself cruising along as a passenger.
As I watched the birds swoop in the air, I thought, “Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matt 6:26) But I still felt insignificant.
Which led me to reflect on a quote I’d just read by Albert Einstein that said, “When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about.”
And finally I thought of a giant puzzle, not the wimpy 100-piece ones, but the big ones with thousands of pieces. What if one single piece is missing? I don’t know about you, but I freak out. Do all that work and one piece is missing? Look at the hole!! Of course, that made me think, “There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body.” (1 Cor 12:12)
We need all of the puzzle pieces, whether center or edge, because they all serve a function to the completion of the puzzle; they are all significant. Just like every person has an impact on the whole of what goes on in the world. No matter how insignificant we may feel to ourselves, we are significant to others. We fit in the world, and each person also is a world, following their own, individual journeys. Which reminded me of one last thing, a favorite quote by Dr. Seuss:
“To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world.”
I am thankful for the occasional feelings of insignificance. Without them popping up every now and then, I might not contemplate them, I might just truck along at status quo, and then I might never be reminded of my significance.
Becky is a single mom and a reluctant disciple, called to share her journey with others. Join her to discover how life happens on these groovy trails.