Higher or Lower? (Psalm 8:5)

You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor. (Psalm 8:5)

I am so wonderful! Can I tell you about my wonderfulness. I can sort of speak Spanish, work not only PCs but Macs, and cook up a dandy pot of chili. I raise good chickens, can teach writing with one arm tied behind my back, and sort of juggle. My singing is decent, as is my acting, and my sudoku playing. Yes, I am a wonderful creature.

Now that I have that out of my system, let’s get completely serious. Humans, after complete review, are really amazing creatures. Think of the physical things we can pull off. The mental things. The artistic things. Picture a figure skating routine. Remarkable. Then look to the Golden Gate Bridge or the microchip. Amazing on both counts. Listen to a Mozart sonata or a play by Sophocles. Incredible stuff.

People are amazing. We create new varieties of apples, design bridges to cross wide chasms, and bake chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate chip cookies! We are indeed a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor.

Doesn’t David seem to be doubling back on himself here? Didn’t he just get through asking why God would bother with us? Didn’t he just finish pointing out how meaningless we are when compared to the stars? Come on, David, you can’t have it both ways.

But of course the human condition requires us to have it both ways. On the one hand, we’re standing in front of the Grand Canyon, mouths agape, recognizing our insignificance. On the other, we’re throwing our hands in the air after accomplishing the greatest thing we can manage.

In reality, there is no contradiction here. Just as God put the sun, moon, and stars in the sky, He did the crowning of man with glory and honor. How full of myself can I get when I recognize that I am not ultimately responsible for my wonderfulness.

I am wonderful. Fearfully and wonderfully made by a God much more amazing than the most amazing of humans. This is my place, a good place to be.