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"The greatest sin might be the belief that our reach exceeds our grasp …"

Yesterday, I completed my Autumn's work, GlancingKnow, with a post entitled SmallerThings. I'd realized that my perspective had been shrinking and that this focus had provided useful insights. Like you, I often feel overwhelmed by the apparent magnitude of difficulties surrounding me. Everything seems to have gone global in scale, yet I am little larger than I've ever been. I've expanded my coping skills, but my power and authority over the huge issues confronting me has changed little since I started out as an ignorant and disoriented little boy. Now, it often seems, I've grown to become an ignorant and disoriented bigger boy, but hardly wiser and rarely well-oriented. I seem to bounce from concern to concern, concluding that most of them exceed far beyond my reach. I some days wonder why I haven't surrendered and stopped caring so danged much about all I seem so powerless to influence.

I might represent a unique case, but I doubt it. I carry a growing suspicion that a root difficulty might be tied to my growing aspirations and awarenesses.
Being an ignorant and disoriented little boy brought with it the benefit that I remained blithely unaware of the enormous magnitudes of the "real" complications surrounding me. Now, I religiously read The Times and The Post and sometimes even tune in to listen to NPR and watch, gulp, television news, each of which bring if not enlightenment, at least an ever-growing awareness of the massive magnitude of this world's challenges and difficulties. I suppose I'd rather be informed than ignorant, as ignorant's advertised bliss seems cheap and short-lived, but I suspect that my ever-expanding focus might be smothering my more accessible abilities for genuinely dealing with the difficulties besetting this world, our world, my world.

Many if not most of these global difficulties seem popularly characterized as problems, for instance, though I've grown to deeply doubt if many—certainly most—genuinely qualify as problems, as they carry no obvious or even any imaginable solution, except by magical or Utopian means. Global Warming could not possibly be the problem it so obviously seems to be since it carries no cues as to how to globally reverse its obvious course. Global Warming might be better understood as a SmallThing, though it certainly manifests as the hugest thing of all. It was not caused by anything global. Certainly it's a huge difficulty, but one most likely without a huge resolution. It might only be addressed by SmallThings, initiated locally, and probably not by actions focused on "solving" any global difficulty. I know this probably seems like a disappointing, perhaps even cynical perspective.

If These Are The Hands Of God, I might at least try to accept that perhaps God isn't as global as often suspected. God might exclusively work locally with sometimes more global-appearing results. It appears that we created God in our image, rather than the other way around, and we all know how inflated our egos can sometimes get, particularly when we associate with some notable figure. Who's more notable than God? We might reference the ones in whose image God was made. I have proven myself capable of daily writing a short essay. I can sometimes write a new song. I can sometimes muster something which seems to impact many, but I hold no metrics to demonstrate that little old Hands Of God Me ever changed anyone or anything, much less any more global 'thing', yet I've not yet driven myself completely insane with my serial inabilities. I'm still pecking away, employing all three typing fingers, doing what I can without the expectation that I'm thereby solving any problem. I doing what I can with a modicum of dignity and decency, praying that I'm not contributing to making anything or anyone worse off.

I, like you, might already be a master of SmallThings, a continuing peak sort of experience which effectively extinguishes my otherwise easily overwhelming sense of powerless. I'm learning that when I focus upon SmallThings, I influence bigger things, and even when I don't influence anything bigger, I end up influencing myself with a sense of genuine mastery, albeit of SmallThings. Some council to not sweat the small stuff, and that it's all small stuff, but I still retain a begrudging belief in the existence of bigger stuff, though I sense myself losing faith that my personal set of God's Hands are better suited to grasping great things, so I'm focusing small. I intend over the next quarter year to stay focused on what these hands can actually do rather than grow increasingly frustrated with what they seemingly cannot accomplish. I explicitly intend to avoid believing that I'm somehow culpable because I've not 'solved' some presumed global problem. I'll still acknowledge the existence of certain huge-appearing difficulties, but not with the notion that these might be solved globally. Each might well be resolvable, probably not with any slam-dunk right answer, but with an unlikely concatenation of SmallThings. The greatest sin might be the belief that our reach exceeds our grasp, or really should. How much different might 'it' be should I accept my authority over just what I can actually do rather than frustrate myself by wallowing within all I so obviously can't touch? We'll see.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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