Who’s in the Center?

I hope you find this as exciting as I do:
I am not at the center of the universe.
And neither are you.

There is a part of us that spends lots of energy trying to convince ourselves– and others– the opposite of this fact. Maybe it is our broken nature. Maybe it is the fact that by definition, we are at the center of our own story.
Our stories, though, are quite sad little things when taken on their own. When read collectively, in context, understood with the most central story, they became things transformed. No longer are they lists of our petty inadequacies and temporary successes. Suddenly, our stories become so much larger.

This is built into us. How many dozen of films, books, television series have been built upon that premise: this story on the surface it is just a sad little foreshadowing of the great battle that is truly occurring. Consider The Matrix. Consider Lost. Alice in Wonderland. The Hunger Games. The Lord of the Rings. Star Wars. The list could go on and on.\

When there is something greater than us at the center, and when the center, like Garth Brooks has lots of friends in low places (like Earth) then suddenly we are elevated. We no longer need to have the answers. We cease to be the definition of good, bad, evil, and love. Whether or not we can puzzle out lifes great mysteries is no longer important, really: something much greater than me (and you) has the whole Republican/Democrat; Communist/Capitalist; Gay Marriage/Straight Marriage; Prochoice/Prolife thing worked out.
As we take our rightful places as junior partners to the center of the universe, I think we will begin to glimpse some truths about some of these issues. But more importantly… it doesn’t matter what we think about them, really. God has already worked it out.

When we stop trying to climb up on to God’s throne, things really do get simpler.


Published by


The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s