In 1864, Jules Verne penned the extremely popular science fiction novel, A Journey to the Center of the Earth. The story involves a professor who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the center of the Earth and sets out to find them. Along the way, he and his companions encounter prehistoric animals, natural hazards, and other dangers. In 2008, Journey to the Center of the Earth came to life in 3D in the movies—the third time this story was dramatized in the cinema.
QUESTION: If a movie titled A Journey to the Center of Your Life was made about your life, what would the viewers find when they got to your center?
At the center of every life there are only two possible destinations: one is the self and the other is the Savior. By nature, we all live SELF-CENTERED lives. Our Number One goal is self-fulfillment. With self firmly established in the center of our existence, we live for our dreams, our goals, our preferences, our agendas, our success, our pleasure, our happiness . . . and we don’t much care what effect it has on those around us. We are convinced that it is far more blessed to receive than it is to give.
Because self is at the center of our universe, we find it incredibly difficult to love others and impossible to find contentment. We are blind to opportunities for serving others but see opportunities for getting ahead with 20/20 vision. And in the end, even if we get everything we think we wanted, it never delivers on its promises. By embracing our sinful selfishness we have denied our humanity . . . and are left poor, blind, and naked.
But this is not for you!
For in him we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28)
A CHRIST-CENTERED life is living for the One who is life. We live in Him. We move in Him. We have our being in Him. We find our identity, meaning, and purpose in Him. Living a Christ-centered life means we care about the things He cares about, even when those things don’t immediately involve us or touch us personally. With Christ at the center, we live a life that truly matters: a life lived in service to others, not at their expense.
When we journey to the center of our lives and find Christ in His rightful place, we live cross-shaped lives. We lay our lives down for others and forgiveness flows freely, even to our enemies, because Jesus is the One who is writing our story. When Jesus is at the center of our lives, He is the source of everything we need in order to do everything He has called us to do. Our potential is not measured by what we can do, but by what He can do through us. What we desire to be doing is what He has called us to do; and what He calls us to do is to incarnate His character in all that we think, do, say, and desire.
With Christ at our center we live in the light of eternity. We live to expand His kingdom, rather than our own kingdom, by surrendering to His authority and rule in our lives. We love what He loves and hate what He hates. We no longer live and move and have our being in the pursuit of our own glory, but rather in the pursuit of His glory. We live as ambassadors for the Almighty and make decisions based on what pleases Him, rather than what pleasures us. Keeping Jesus at the center of our lives keeps our lives centered . . . and when we are living centered lives we are living lives that truly matter.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!