We all need a Copernican revolution of the soul.
You may remember the name Nicolaus Copernicus from middle school science classes. He lived during the Renaissance in the late 15th and early 16th centuries in Prussia (modern day Poland) and was educated in canon law. He was also a mathematician, astronomer, physician, economist and even a governor.
Copernicus is mainly known for a model of the universe he formulated that placed the sun rather than the earth at the center of the universe. We assume its truth in our modern day world, but such a theory was pretty radical in his day. His publication of that model in 1543 was a major event in the history of science and triggered what is called the “Copernican Revolution.”
What’s that got to do with the soul? I’m glad you asked.
One of the hardest discoveries for all of us is that we are not the center of the universe. From the time we are born, somehow we get the idea that the world revolves around us. But one day, reality kicks in and we realize that is not the case. As Rick Warren states in the opening words of his best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life: “It’s not about you.”
The Psalmist reminded us that “the fool says in his heart that there is no God.” As John Ortberg points out, perhaps the bigger fool is the one who looks in the mirror and says, “There is a god!” for the oldest temptation is that we “will be like God.” But we must all let go of the false god that is me.
Of course none of us would ever claim to be a god, but sometimes we act like we’re the ones in charge, like we are the axis around which the world spins. All of us must at some point come to grips with this important truth: There is a God, and I’m not him.
As hard as it may be for our stubborn wills to grasp, one of the most freeing things any of us can ever do is surrender our lives to the God who is the center of the universe, the Creator of the very heavens and the earth. It takes the pressure off when you realize you don’t have to keep the planet spinning, and that everything does not depend on you.
This is a Copernican revolution of the soul.
So exhale. Take a load off. Realize it’s not about you, that you’re not in control now nor were you ever intended to be. But the good news is that you can have a relationship with the God who is in charge, and He can be trusted. And even better, He loves you more than you could ever imagine.
May He bless you this week as you put Him first in your life. I am praying for you, as I hope you are for me, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday.