There was a time, not as long ago as we like to think, when man believed that the earth was at the very center of the universe. The natural fruit (or perhaps root?) of this idea known as geocentrism was that man was then at the center of the universe. In walks Galileo with his discovery that the earth was indeed not the center of all that orbits and shines in the universe, contributing to a major shift in human history and understanding. But not all that should have changed did, or has yet.
Mankind still wrestles with egocentrism–the idea that he/she is the center of all things and the only VIP in the room. This is evident in the way we make our choices, as though we are the only people they affect, in the way we walk through the mall as though the people we rudely run over aren’t even there, when corporate bigwigs throw hedonistic parties while their employees pensions are drained to non-existence, or deciding to leave your grocery basket up against the neighboring car because you can’t be expected to walk the two spaces over to put it up, or in divorce proceedings where people declare that they have “grown apart” (in truth, there is no such thing…most more likely “digressed apart”). You see it in the man too “busy” to help, and too proud to be helped. Whether the fruit is big or small, it is always rotten.
In steps Jesus. If ever anyone could rightly walk around as though he were the universe’s great epicenter, it would be the Son of God. Yet he did not. Whether he was being stopped by parents asking for the healing of their children or answering questions at Jacob’s well, he was always keenly aware that other people were present–and that they mattered. Even as his earthly life ebbed away and the pain washed over him, his mind was on the forgiveness of those who crucified him. I could never be so bold as to proclaim I know what Jesus would do in every situation, but I’m sure if he’d been at the PriceChopper this evening, he’d have put his cart away rather than let it hit the Honda in the next spot. In Jesus’ world, others matter. It is not all about you, nor me.
Imagine for a second, if you will, how different life would be if egocentrism went the way of geocentrism. What would it take? Where would you start? What would you change?
One more question…what are you waiting for?
Stay tuned for Part 2 of It’s Not About You: 12 Steps For Recovering Egocentrics