Tuesday, November 10 2009
Orbit* n. 1. The curved path, usually elliptical, described by a planet, satellite, spaceship, etc. around a celestial body.
2. The usual course of one's life.
3. The sphere of influence, as of a nation or person.
There was a time when all men perceived that the sun was in orbit around the earth. Everyday they would see it rising in the east and setting in the west and from where they stood the sun was clearly moving around the earth.
Well those of us who live this side of the Enlightenment and the Age of Scientific Discovery know just how foolish that perception was. It may look like the sun goes around the earth but nothing could be further from the truth. Earth is in fact orbiting the sun along with several other planets ( that keeps changing but that is another story).
How interesting then to consider definition #2 of the word orbit. We all come into this world with the perception that the world and everyone in it revolves around us, ourselves, or more succinctly me, myself and I. We can spend an entire lifetime with this mistaken notion and when things begin to crash and burn as they always will we wonder what is wrong. Why is this happening to me? The idea that there is another reality which is in fact the ultimate truth for the way things work; the way they orbit, never enters our heads.
The "pre-enlightment" people may have been wrong about the earth's orbit ( definition #1), but they were actually quite knowledgeable about definition #2. They knew they were not the center of the universe, God as revealed in His Son Jesus Christ was. They lived in a "Christocentric" world which meant that everything found its meaning, its life, in orbit around the Son. That was how God created the universe and that was how He sustained the universe.
The question that begs to be answered is; who is at the center of your universe? Before a quick response that God of course is, stop and think about this. The "I" does not easily give itself over to the "Thou". It would much rather try and remain at the center and draw others into its sphere of influence (definition #3), God included. For the I to be replaced by the Thou requires a death. There are many in the Christian Community that have yet to be thus enlightened.
For the I who can die and accept the Thou at the center there is another kind of life, a whole and lasting life. It produces great stability and a unique place in the cosmos reflecting a far greater glory than self. It is the glory of the Son.
* Randon House Webster's College Dictionary