All About Me

A brief history lesson, if you will…

For years upon years, humans held to the basic theory that the Earth, not the Sun, was at the center of our universe. Claudius Ptolemaeus, a Greek living in the 2nd century A.D., was the first to offer a detailed explanation of this theory. His work was accepted for many years afterward as true. We refer to this arrangement of the universe as the Ptolemaic model: Earth is in the center and all things (the Sun, the planets, the stars, etc.) move in orbits around it. Only after the passing of a millennium (and some change), was this theory toppled by the extensive scientific work starting with Copernicus in 1543, then Galileo and, after him, Kepler. Now we hold a Copernican view of the universe: the Sun, not the Earth, is at the center.

(Interestingly, a recent study shows that 1 in 5 Americans think that the Earth still occupies the central position.)

But long before Ptolemaeus formalized the popular Earth-centered theory, a man named Aristarchus of Samos, born in 310 B.C., offered an alternate idea. He said, even then, that the Sun was the center of our universe. Though he was right, his suggestion was considered ridiculous. According to history, he had only one known supporter, a man named Seleucus.

Seems that suggesting our little world isn’t the center of the universe wins few popularity votes…

Today, even though the old Earth-centered model has passed from the scene, a new way of thinking has emerged: a “me-centered” universe…and it has plenty of followers. We live in an entitlement society: our rights must be met, preferences catered to, freedoms to do “whatever we want to do” preserved, and atop it all, we must be entertained. In short, we feel like the world, others, and even God, owe us something. This line of thought stretches to include the way we shop, vote, date, marry and even how we worship.

The “me-centered” universe doesn’t square with the reality found in Christ. In fact, Colossians tells us that “All things were created through Him and for Him” (1:16). He must be the “center of my universe” because He’s the only one worthy to occupy that position.

Jesus doesn’t exist for me; I exist for Him. Or, as a pastor said long ago, “It’s not about what you’re going to get out of God, but what God’s going to get out of you.”

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