By Bill Tinsley
Corsicana Daily Sun
For thousands of years we assumed the earth was the center of the universe. When Galileo advanced the proposition that the earth revolved around the sun and was, in fact, only one of many planets that did so, he was tried by the Inquisition and placed under house arrest for the remainder of his life. More recent investigations, along with Voyager’s first foray beyond our solar system, have verified that the earth is a very small speck of dust in the galaxies — nowhere near the center of the cosmic creation.
This physical truth gives rise to a more personal question for each of us. “What is the center of my universe?” For most of us, the answer to that question is a very small two-letter word — “me.” Everything revolves around us and our interests. This is the reason we are prone to become angry with God. Sooner or later the evidence begins to pile up that, like planet earth in the cosmos, we are not the center. Everything is not ordered for our personal gratification, pleasure and benefit.
Paul started his life like most of us, focused on his own ambitions. He went so far as to arrest Christians, both men and women, and throw them into prison to advance his own agenda. But, after he met Christ everything changed. He discovered that the Christ whom he persecuted was, in fact, the center of all creation. “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17).
In the last few years, billboards have sprung up proclaiming, “I am second.” They are part of a movement to proclaim what Paul discovered. We are not number one. God is. And when we make Christ the center of our universe, everything else comes into focus. According to the web site, “I Am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others.” I Am Second testimonies include people like Jason Witten, Colt McCoy, Josh Hamilton, Eric Metaxus, Tony Dungy, Joe Gibbs, Anne Rice and many others. They include the rich and famous as well as those who have been addicted, abused, molested and imprisoned. The number ultimately includes all of us. You can check it out at www.iamsecond.com.
When Jesus Christ becomes the center of our universe everything changes. All the petty resentments and disappointments disappear. Scripture begins to make sense. For instance, in an effort to comfort others, many people quote the Bible when tragedy strikes saying “All things work together for good.” What the Bible actually says is, “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord, for those who are called according to His purpose.” This is entirely different. All things don’t work together for my good when I am the center of my own universe. They only work together for good when I recognize that God is the center of the universe and I am created for his glory.
Bill Tinsley reflects on current events and life experience from a faith perspective. Visit www.tinsleycenter.com. He may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: email@example.com