Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the largeness of the little things in my life.

Does anyone else get like that?

You look up, and suddenly you see it clearly again; how things have overtaken you and every little thing has gone and gotten big again.

Cross words with a child. Problems at work. Things going on at school.

It’s not to say that these things aren’t important. That they aren’t worth putting thought to; that you shouldn’t care. But all too often, I turn around and catch myself and these little things have become so big in my mind that they’ve swollen out of all proportion, pushing and jostling and crowding my thoughts and distracting me for hours at a time.

I turn them over and over and over again, as if by sheer force of will and time spent on them, I might unearth some new treasure. I examine minute detail, rehearse arguments in my head, not seemingly able to shift it from centre stage.

Sea and Rocks at Lundy Bay

I sit here in the sun and look. Look hard at the tall, grey rocks. Sharp granite cliffs, uncompromising and stoic. The quartz veins that pulse through them like life, and the white lichen patterns, lit up by the sun’s streak, adorning their face like ancient cave paintings.

I listen to the waves, the rhythmic beat of their heart lulling my mind towards some sort of quiet rest. Water pours off the hills behind me and cascades downwards to meet the sea, droplets catching in the sun as they plunge from their grassy bed; sparkling, carving ever deeper lines in the rock as they tumble over it.

I catch my breath and count my blessings all over again. This ever-shifting, never-changing shoreline, containing so much time. These stones, those waves. Rough edges worn smooth, rivulets opened up and etched ever-deeper in imperceptible increments by the minute shifting of water over rock, of time passing.

And still. It is not the changing that seems so big, but the standing still. All is – largely – as it ever was. As God created it to be.

God sets eternity in the hearts of men, the good book says. We don’t always understand it, but sometimes – just sometimes – we glimpse the edges of it, rough-hewn and grey, glinting in the morning light. And as the sun beats down on those ancient granite cliffs – these early days yet stolen from summer – I am given a gift once more.

Perspective.

Those problems? Not so big any more.

“He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end…… I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.”

The Bible, book of Ecclesiaistes, chapter 3, verses 11 & 14


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