The theme this year for chapel and our University Ministries organization is “eccentric.” Pastor Judy spoke both last Sunday at collegelife and Wednesday in chapel to introduce this theme to us as students.
But I need to stop before I get ahead of myself, because the truth is that my brain is not really flowing well at the moment. I honestly don’t feel like doing much but going back to sleep, which is partially why I didn’t get around to posting consistently this week. Some people struggle with temptations like lust, selfishness, greed, or gluttony. Although I am not immune to those things, my current trap lies in complacency. This is my third year at the same school, there isn’t a lot going on for me this semester, and all I want to do spiritually is nap. Why not right? I’ve worked hard the last few years, gotten through many challenges, and encountered God in all new ways. So I would be fine to rest for awhile where I am right?
These voices whisper in my head and lull me into dozing off, away from here, there, and everywhere. I suppose this is how the hare lost a race to the turtle, because he thought he was doing just fine and could take a break. I see the danger though, I’ve read this story before. I know that the race isn’t close to being over, and if prideful complacency convinces me to stop for a rest I could lose the race while sleeping. God wants me to win the race, but I can’t think I know the pace at which I should run it.
I keep comparing it to a long car ride. Somewhere in the sixth hour of a ten hour drive, you are tired because you’ve come a long way, but there is still awhile to go. Car rides make me sleepy, I figure there is nothing else to do, so why not sleep. That is where the lie comes in and says: there is nothing else to do, rest, just rest.
This trap doesn’t only exist in car rides though, it thrives in the desperation of broken communities, in systems of injustice, in messed up relationships, or anywhere hope loses ground to heartbreak. It makes me wonder: how many more of my peers, of my country, and of people across the world are simply sleeping through the days? Are we all in this deceiving dream where we feel as if we are doing things that are good, doing what is required of us? But really there is a whole other life waiting for us to wake up to. No this isn’t Inception, although it is a good movie. This is reality, and I need something to kick me awake.
So the theme this year is “eccentric.” It is defined in the dictionary two ways:
1. deviating from the recognized or customary character, practice, etc.
2. not situated in the center
But how do you redefine that in the Christian sense? For right now, it means we must wake up from the dream our culture promotes saying that we are the center of the universe. Instead, as Pastor Judy so eloquently explained, God must be the center, and we must be so off-center (or eccentric) that we visibly reflect Him as the Moon reflects the Sun. God is no doubt a sun full of fire and heat, giving off more light than we can possibly understand or appreciate. Being a moon to reflect that light in the darkness of night would certainly be a beautiful reality to live into.
There is one last lie of our culture that we must set ourselves off-center from: there is time. The truth is that the time is now, and I must slap myself awake, drag myself away from the dream, and search after the Sun, to embrace my place in His universe, His light that is waiting for me. I don’t know what it will take to wake myself up, but I have felt the warmth of this eccentric place before and I refuse to let it go away. We all just need to rekindle the light he has stirred up already and chase after every glimmer we can find, because there is a much more rewarding reality when we orbit in the universe God intended.
What dream do you need to wake up from?
How is your life eccentric?
“Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake:some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.”
– Daniel 12:2-3
“Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.”
– Philippians 2:14-16