For thousands of years, men assumed that the Sun and stars rotated around the earth, that we were center stage, but, starting with Galileo in the sixteenth century, we found out that our earth is only one of nine planets that orbit the Sun. More recent investigations along with our first forays into the fringes of outer space have verified that we are, indeed, a very small speck of dust in the galaxies nowhere near the center of the cosmic creation.
This physical discovery gives rise to a more personal question that affects our daily existence. “Where 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. Maybe the Eagles expressed it, “This is not the center of the universe.”
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).
Recently billboards have been springing up that proclaim, “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, Tony Dungy, Joe Gibbs, Anne Rice and many others whose names you may or may not recognize. 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. 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.