A friend of mine once said that raising young children is like looking at life through a straw. It can feel confining and constraining, as though you are being forced to view too few things in too much detail, over and over again.
But I suppose we each live in our own little bubbles, which are limited and flawed in both perception and perspective. Currently, my bubble feels very small, confined mostly to my home, the 4 by 6 ft center of my kitchen, and the little people I continuously feed across its countertops. Sometimes my bubble expands to include my church community, my neighborhood, and on a really exciting day, it includes the 5-10 mile radius of stores and businesses along my path of errands.
[Perhaps this is the appeal of writing/blogging for me? It is a way to temporarily cross the boundaries that daily life has drawn for me–a way for life to feel a bit bigger than it actually is?]
In any case, when I had the chance to get away last weekend, I was extremely excited. The ordinary sphere of life that I see through my straw suddenly expanded and I got to feel like a real woman in the real world. I got to zoom-out, to see the bigger picture, to see all the colors on the horizon.
There is something about air travel that expands my perspective. Seeing so many people coming and going from so many places–so many lives woven in and out of each other–brings with it the realization that this world is big, and that we, as individuals, living our own little lives, are a part of something collectively huge, mysterious, and sometimes overwhelming!
And yet, one can see so much more from a great distance. Interstates become little lines that glow. Entire cities can be captured through the lens of a camera. Once far removed, the world doesn’t seem so big at all. Size and significance are relative.
This past weekend left me thankful for the chance to see and experience life beyond my own little bubble, but it also left me grateful to return to it.
It left me questioning the notion that small = insignificant.
Our little lives might be but a tiny blip in the grand scheme of things, but perhaps the most profound impact we will achieve in life is in the smallness…in the handful of close-knit relationships that God has given us. Perhaps changing “the world” means merely showing up and being present in the little bubbles where we currently exist. And perhaps, for the most part, that’s how it’s designed to be?
Who, or what, is in your bubble? Do you wish your bubble was bigger, or smaller? Do you think that impact = quantity or quality?