The Illusion of Size


For the second year, I missed out again on the Monster Truck show. I was ecstatic the first time I saw the poster for the Monster Truck show but was totally disappointed when I realize the highlight was on a Saturday. This year they held it on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday but it coincided with the date of a trip I planned the year before. Hopefully next year I could get to see those monster trucks.

There is some sense of overwhelming awesomeness when you see those giant trucks mashing smaller cars. I often get awestruck if I see a Maserati or a Porsche or a Ferrari on the streets, but I guess the feeling is different with a monster truck. The former are machines of beauty and speed, while the latter is a machine of pure power. There is something about big stuffs that connotes strength and power.

baggerWhen it comes to monster though, I recently learned that Bagger 288 is the world’s biggest machine. At 311 feet tall, 705 feet wide and 45, 500 tonnes, you would wonder how it could move. Despite its size, it is not the most efficient since it only has one purpose not like your van that can double as a house or a race car when you drive it. It is also too big to be able to move about. Built to excavate coal from a mine, it was able extract several truckloads of coal in a day that lead to the mine being depleted fast. This led to the problem of moving the giant monster to the next mine which is 14 miles away. Moving this gargantuan machine took 3 weeks. Talk about slow!

Truly size is not everything.

This is the illusion of sizes. We often think that because it is gigantic, it is already better. We often overlook the minute details because we are too overwhelmed by the size and grandeur of something. I am referring to almost everything huge and big that we have ever created. The Taj Mahal, the Pyramids, the Great Wall and many others modern or ancient; the biggest sales, the biggest music festivals, the biggest churches and even the biggest feats, have been awesome for most of us. We take pride in those humongous structures because we think that we have never created anything that big before. We set records on which structure or vehicle or machine is the largest of all.

The truth is we never learn.

The Spoliarium by Juan Luna

The biggest is not always the best. In fact, the biggest things we create often times lead us to our downfall. This is simply because huge things are harder to move. You see, when we create something big, it gives us a certain level of pride. We will think that nothing can move us because we have already created something big ourselves. Why then should we be moved by others? We know of several huge countries and states with this kind of mentality. We are bigger why should we give way to you? You can also notice it on the road. The bigger vehicles often would swerve and occupy most of the road simply because it is bigger. Bigger things are harder to move out of the way.

Another reason is that huge things often blind our eyes. We wanted everyone to see it and everyone to appreciate it. We get puffed up when everyone notices and we get blinded by the attention and fame. We then think that we are more privileged than the next person because of our accomplishments. We think we ought to be given all the honors because we did something big. We live in a big house or worship in a big church so we have to receive special treatment. We are too blind to see that there is something else bigger than us because the size and height that we have reached caused us to look down on everyone else.

blindman584Huge things also create huge misconceptions. On the flip side, others would also get the same perception: because you belong to a big organization, you must be really good. Coming from a huge church, this is common misconception. People would believe that because you are from a huge church you must be good or rich or hard to reach or not approachable. We create misconceptions because we think size is everything.

Size is an illusion. Remember the ancient times when the men of old decided to build a tower? Probably they thought it would be the pinnacle of our society if we pull of this tower. Probably we could be powerful like gods. So they set off to create stronger materials and erected a huge tower. God noticed their pride and their arrogance so He divided them through their languages. The miscommunication it generated caused their prestigious project to fail. The story could be found in Genesis 11.

“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.” 

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

heart jesusWe have to remember that the smallest gnat could anger the largest bull. The smallest ant could give you the most painful bite. The power is in the small. When you think small, the bigger miracles happen. We would not marvel at the feeding of the 5000 people if there were enough food there, it had to be just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes. We would not marvel at the water that turned to wine if their wine was overflowing, there should be a small amount of wine for that to happen.

When you think small, a closer relationship happens. A small group of 10 people would have the best time in the world together, whereas a crowd of 20 would be too many to socialize or get close to. A huge church or worship hall would entice a lot of people to sleep instead of worship and no one would notice. On the other hand, a small church would make everyone listen attentively because everyone would see you nodding your head.

Finally, we would not feel amazed by the grace and love of God if we were too big, we have to be small to see it. If we are too big, we fail to see that there is a bigger God who is looking down on us. If we are too high, we will fail to see that there is someone higher who could easily topple whatever we have accomplished. It is harder for us to humble ourselves because we feel we are to big to be humble.

Let us not fall in the illusion of sizes. Big and grand does not always mean good and better. God wants us to be small because it is easier for Him to do good things to us if we make ourselves as small as possible.






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