To me, my situation is huge. I have been betrayed. I have been abandoned. I have been wronged. I have been dealt hardships. I am lonely. I am alone in my worries. (Can you hear the “whine” in these words?) Should I go on and on? I can, believe me; I proved that to myself again just this week. And then I saw, of all things, a bumper sticker that just put everything in perspective. It said:
one-six-billionth about you.
one-six-billionth about you.
Probably because I needed to hear it so badly, this message was almost jarring to me. Wow! You mean to tell me that it’s not all about me? A picture flashed through my mind. Here is what I saw:
Now, when I have been down in the past, I have tried the comparison thing to help me count my blessings. It is my profession to deal with people in my same marital boat. In terms of objective factors, my situation is so much better than that of many of my clients. I have said many times (maybe even in this blog) that Sheep M’s situation humbles me when I compare it to mine. Still, as Sheep M graciously pointed out to me, knowing that others are having a harder time really doesn’t help all that much. You can only feel your own situation.
But this bumper-sticker thought got to me in a way that my own comparison game did not. I thought about all that God sees. The Scripture that came to my mind was Psalm 50:10, where the Lord says that the cattle (sheep?) on a thousand hills are His.
Oh, dear! He sees it all, and then, way down here in the American south is little Sheep C, bleating about being a little lonely (a good part of that being by her own self-imposed isolation so she can pout). It made me feel humble and small, indeed. And, for some reason, it made my troubles seem smaller (thank you, Lord!). Yes, it brought relief! I think I’m going to put that bumper sticker on my office wall so I can keep it fully in mind.
I pondered this six-billion-sheep thing while I was on the lawn mower Sunday afternoon. Does that mean that I don’t count; that my troubles are too small for God to worry about? Maybe heaven’s switchboard lady-angel (think Lily Tomlin) is saying, “Sorry, He’s very busy right now with that starvation thing in Africa and that war deal in Iraq. You know, honey, your problems are way down the line for Him, just wait your turn.”
No, I don’t feel that way at all. Knowing that God has the sheep on a thousand hills to tend only helps me sharpen my perspective. For some reason it does not make me feel neglected or small in his eyes. And I thought about that, too. Why is that? If He really has six billion sheep, who am I to even think He knows my name, let alone about my troubles. I mean, if I were God, I wouldn’t give my situation so much as a second thought. I’d be saying things like, “She’s got a roof and plenty (oh, yeah, plenty) of food, yadayadayada. I’ll deal with her later—maybe—because in the broad scheme she’s perking along pretty fine on her own.”
But that’s not true, either. And God is not me (again, thank you, Lord!). His priorities are different than ours…I believe that we are all and each His number one priority. It’s a God thing—only He can do this, but parents who have multiple children must see a glimpse of this, loving each child the same AND the most.
I am reminding of another saying that buoyed me one time. I think it would make a good bumper sticker, too:
God loves each of us as if there were only one of
us. --St. Augustine.
So, hope you can take heart, too, that you are one of His six-billion-plus-strong flock and that you—yes you!—are the most important!--Sheep C.