Popcorn Medievalist

. . . for i had perceived that reality is a frightening place, and i did not wish to live there . . .

Location: Canada

Friday, October 10, 2003

Reflecting on Small Invertebrates

Today I was watching little red mites crawl around on the concrete in the warmth of the sun, and it dawned on me that there is such a huge variation in sizes amongst the small invertebrates that are such a familiar part of our backyard landscapes.

Those mites are about half a millimetre long. I thought to myself, "Just think if you were a little red mite. An earthworm would be a thousand feet long!" It's true. Earthworms are very normally 200 times as long as red mites. There isn't any living thing on earth that's that much bigger than us! That's three times as long as the highest redwood. Imagine the Bank of Montreal Tower lying on its side, squirming around and eating dirt.

Now think about how big we are. Multiply your actual height by 3 000 to find out your "mite height." By that calculation, I'm about 19 000 ft tall, which is roughly the elevation---above sea level---of Mount Logan, Canada's highest mountain. Do you feel big now?

We live side-by-side with these little invertebrates, yet we experience the world in such completely different ways. A little slab of concrete is like an enormous parking lot. A shoe is like an asteroid. Do they think that we're gods? We come crashing out of the sky without warning, and we thunder upon the earth like walking mountains, crushing inferior life forms beneath our feet and not even realizing it, cutting down mile-wide swaths of thousand-foot forests with our push mowers. We have more power than they could ever imagine. We are so much bigger, so much more intellegent, so much more powerful that we really couldn't care less about them; they're only here for such a short time and then they're gone. But it's really a matter of perspective, isn't it?

Now as I sit here the seriousness is setting in. What if some one really was that much bigger than us---that much more intellegent, that much older, wiser, more sophisticated? Would he have any reason to care about us? I mean, really, why should God care about us more than we care about a mite? It isn't a fair comparison, of course. We're just fellow creatures along with the mites. But God cares enough to make and sustain us and the mites and everything else. And God wants to spend time with us. He cares so deeply for us who are so small. Maybe you don't think mites are worth thinking about. God's perspective is different; he doesn't see things like we do.


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