From the highest heavens to the deepest oceans, the psalmist declares, God has aligned creation—given purpose and order to all of life—and God’s name is majestic over all! Follow the alignment of creation as the psalm reports: Above and beyond and in all, God reigns with glory that stretches farther than the heavens. Much to his surprise, the psalmist discovers that humanity falls only “a little lower than God,” esteemed among all creation. Humanity in turn receives authority over all creatures of the air, earth, and sea. All things are aligned toward God; all things are aligned with one another by God’s good wisdom.
When I was a child, I felt determined to pray for the whole earth at bedtime. To accomplish this colossal prayer, I arranged my thanksgiving topographically, beginning in the deepest darkest canyons of the oceans and gradually reaching the peaks of the Himalayas and then beyond to the farthest reaches of the galaxies. “Dear God,” I began, “thank you for glowing sea creatures and undiscovered animals at the bottom of the ocean. Thank you for squid and sharks and clown fish and stingrays and dolphins and tuna. Thank you for clams and crabs and sea gulls and sand dunes and alligators and manatees.” And then, somewhere around the rising slopes of hills and the edges of deciduous forests, I fell asleep.
The created world is so vast, so complex, so beautiful! We can easily feel small and lost (or fall asleep, actually or metaphorically) amidst it all. Humans live as but one species among many. You and I are each just one among billions of humans. Who are we that God recognizes us among the crowds? Who are we to have purpose in the grand scheme of this universe? And yet we are and we do.
When I feel unnoticed by you, O God, or when I feel aimless, open my heart to see the careful attention and purpose you’ve given to all creation. Amen.