rebelling against low expectations

How Big are You? Remembering the Bigger Picture and Your Place in it


We humans often think of ourselves as the main character in our stories. Part of this is because we know ourselves better than anybody else does. We know what’s going on inside our heads, but we cannot tell what’s going on in others. We know our preferences and what we like better than anybody else in the world.

The other side of this is that humans, in their sinful nature, are self-oriented. We can so easily zoom in on our own little world and see ourselves as the star. It’s not often that we take a large step back and look at the entirety of the universe and our place in it.

But that’s just what I’m going to ask you to do today.

The Big Picture

The world is very large. I think that’s something we can all agree on.

We are each just one person inside one city, inside one of the 195 countries in the world. That makes us sound pretty small in the grand scheme of things, doesn’t it?

I want to invite you to go even further than just the world. Let’s look at the whole universe and how we fit into it.

I’ve been studying astronomy in school this past year, I never realized how gigantic the universe is (like I said, it’s really easy to get caught up in your own small world)! I would like to briefly explain to you some interesting facts that will make you feel tiny. Read them slowly as you try to comprehend the true massiveness of everything God created.

#1. There is approximately 8.1 billion people on the earth (as of January 1st, 2024),

#2. 1.3 million earths could fit into the sun,

#3. The average size of a star, is about the size of our sun,

#4. There are roughly 100 billion stars in each galaxy,

#5. There are about 2 trillion galaxies in the universe,

#6. There are therefore about 200 billion trillion stars in the entire universe, each one being more or less the size of our sun which can fit 1.3 million earths inside it.

Take a second to do an internet search of the word “galaxies” and look at a few of the image results. Impressive, right? Now think about our galaxy, the Milky Way. You are just one little person in one tiny country on one little planet in that galaxy. Do you think you’re the main character in the story now?

I know that sounds a little harsh, but it’s true. And this is where the amazing part comes in. Even though you are just one out of the 8,019,876,189 people on the earth—God still loves you. He has so much love in Him that He can love each person individually and unconditionally. He loves you so much that He died for you. And to add to the wonder, He knows each little detail about you as well.

Psalm 139:2-3 says, “You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.”

God is so powerful that He can know the tiny details of everything on earth, like when you sit down. Plus, the little things about the universe, like what angle the earth is tilted on its axis. God is THAT all-knowing and powerful!

The Problem with Living in Our Own Little Worlds

So now, let’s take this perspective into our own lives. First, I think it’s good to recognize that we’re going to be more aware of what is happening in our lives than we will be about others. That’s because we are experiencing our lives firsthand, while we only watch and hear what’s going on in other’s day-to-day situations. That is not bad, nor is it a sin.

This can become a problem, however, when we think everything revolves around us. When we become so invested in our tiny worlds that we don’t realize what is happening in the bigger world around us. We are all busy trying to balance school, friends, sports, God-time, chores, work, etc. It’s no wonder we tend to think it’s all about us!

So now that we know all this, what do we do about it?

When we start to think that it’s all about us, we need to take a step back and remember how small we are in comparison to God’s creation. We need to think of the wider world, instead of our own small part in it.

We need to get our minds off ourselves.

Step Outside Your World

Here is a short list of ways we can do this. I encourage you to brainstorm things to add to this list:

#1. Pray for things going on in other parts of the world. There is a lot of war and destruction going on now that could use our prayers.

#2. Read the newspaper or watch the news from a Biblical perspective. Look for good things happening that you can praise God for and look for things you could be praying for.

#3. Spend a little bit of time everyday learning something about another culture. There are so many different kinds of people out there with so many interesting customs and traditions!

#4. Spend some time in scripture and look for the bigger picture woven throughout the smaller stories. See how Abraham, Ruth, and David were never the “main character”—but how each of their stories pointed to a greater story and the person of Christ.

Doing each of these things helps us step outside of our world, and into the greater, wider world where we are not a main character.

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About the author

Ellie Anderson

is a thirteen-year-old homeschooler from Oregon. She first started writing weekly newsletters about her family’s antics to send out to friends and family around the country during Covid. Within the past year, she has started writing pieces specifically for teenagers, and she is just getting started sharing them. A few things she enjoys are hanging out with her friends and doing craft projects.

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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →