Fall is coming, people. It may not seem that way in the 100-degree heat of summer, but that doesn’t mean it’s not right there, waiting to pounce on the joy of unscheduled summer goodness. My husband and I looked at the fall schedule beginning to fill up as we signed up our four littles for their respective activities, and we sort of had a bit of a head-spinning, gut-wrenching, panic-inducing anxiety. No biggie.
Seriously though, we felt like we’d been kicked onto the concrete. (At least I did. My husband doesn’t describe his responses to intangible circumstances with such precise dramatic flair.) Every autumn requires preparation for the coming whirlwind of “stuff to do.” This is always the time of year when I seriously contemplate leaving America for good and hiding out with a simple life in a forest or field or bush somewhere. Don’t get me wrong. Our kids don’t each have an activity for every day of the week. Because I would go insane. And also broke. (Remember there are FOUR.) And I would also miss them. They each have one activity. No joke. Except for one who does two things because one is seasonal (and yes, that season is in the fall). So I’m talking school, some dance classes, soccer, oh—and church…and I’m trying to figure out which days I can count on for family meals together. Because that is something that I only let go of when all other options are exhausted. So there we were, praying for wisdom and struggling with setting this fall schedule for our little family of six, wondering if the waves were going to cover our heads this year.
And then we went on vacation to Arizona.
If you’ve read my previous post, you know we found there the Lowell Observatory. We had no idea its significance in the astronomical community, nor did we realize that Flagstaff is a black-sky city so you can see more millions of stars than you could ever imagine existed. Nor did we know that the ashes of the man who discovered Pluto was about to pass that little dwarf planet and leave the realm of our solar system into the great beyond. And that’s just the beginning of space! It is super big. Blow-your-mind huge. Like, I can’t even describe it so we can wrap our heads around how big it is.
And then we went to the Grand Canyon, and may I say the word “grand” is quite aptly used to describe this wonder of the world. Talk about GARGANTUAN! Talk about so big it inspires a bit of fear and awe in you. One person could explore the Grand Canyon her entire life and never quite touch every bit of it or see it from every angle, could never see how each angle looks in different light, could never break down the make-up of each layer in every single peak and wall. My husband saw a diagram that showed the vast chasm and then highlighted an angle showing how much of the canyon you can see at any given point along the rim. It’s a minute fraction, people. Your eyes can’t even take in the whole canyon in one look. It’s too big. (Big meaning ridiculously huge and colossal and magnificent.)
It’s humbling-big, you guys.
As we walked to the edge of a point where you could see a 270-degree view of the canyon, our whole family was mesmerized. (And no one fell off the edge, so a pat on the back to me and my husband for the good parenting there, man.) We soaked it in and only left reluctantly, knowing there were other views and treks to explore. My awe is still fresh.
Back from our trip, my problems and concerns about our family’s fall scheduling seem as distant as the ashes of the astronomer hurtling to the edge of our solar system. I know we’ll have to buckle down like we always do. I know I’ll miss my preschooler dearly during his mornings away from me. I know we’ll have to make the most of every family dinner around the table and even take advantage of picnic dinners at soccer fields. I also know my kids will enjoy being back with friends, developing their gifts and talents, and settling in to a new normal. My struggles and concerns are a tiny ripple in the vast ocean, a whisper on the wind, a particle in the universe. God cares about them for sure, but He’s also super-big-huge enough to handle them. I can dump all my junk, worries, struggles into His open hand and it’s like a tiny speck of dust.
God uses His awe-inspiring bigness to comfort His people. In Isaiah 40:12, they are reminded, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, or with the breadth of His hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?”
So I’m writing to you today wrapped up in the comfort and joy of the immense infinity of God. I’m so glad He’s so big because I know there is nothing I can throw at Him that He can’t handle, that there’s no problem He can’t solve, that there’s no need that He can’t provide. He’s bigger than the canyon, vaster than the universe. His peace passes our understanding. He knows how big our stuff is in our eyes and He is gracious and gentle, but boy is he also good at reminding us how big HE is in comparison. So, bring it on, Fall. My super-galactic God’s got this.