A recent article came out declaring that in a recent survey, 1 in 4 Americans didn’t know that the earth revolved around the sun. Scientists and educators were dismayed!
It was quite hard for people to accept Copernicus’ notion that the earth was not the center of the universe. That 75% of the population has finally figured it out is fairly impressive, at least as compared to the percentage that have comprehended an even more important truth about life.
You see, I was actually surprised to hear that the percentage was that good, seeing as how nearly all of us live life as though the world revolves around us. Our need for other people, circumstances, and even God to keep in line with our desires shows a huge flaw in our understanding of life.
Jesus made it very clear that nothing that has life, got that life apart from Him, the eternal Word of God. In John 15 of the Bible, He gave us a picture of what that means. He said that He is the vine and we are branches. That wasn’t a put down. Branches are where beautiful leaves and fruit get produced…when they realize that they aren’t the center of the universe…when they stay attached to the vine.
Ever see a branch that gets detached? Ever see one in that condition that produces pretty leaves and fruit? Nope, me neither. They die.
That is what happens to people who forget that Christ is the center of it all. That is what happens to branches that wander off from the vine. They die.
Jesus goes on to say, “Therefore, remain in me.” Notice, modern translations have yet to change that to “Therefore, if you start thinking you are the vine instead of me, then I’ll just cave and let you call the shots.” Jesus only gives a plea that we stay in a position of life instead of choosing death. He does not offer another path to life.
Now that I’m 2 months into my journey to recover my deep love for Christ that I have abandoned along the way, I’m realizing that the key to recovery is simply reconnecting to the vine…over and over, deeper and deeper- in prayer, in worship, in silence, etc. Recovery doesn’t come from doing good things or not doing bad things. I’ve tried a bit of that in January and February. Still dry. Only through reattachment to the vine and remaining there does the living water of God begin to resuscitate my spirit.
My wandering has brought death…dried leaves and rotting fruit that have alerted me to a problem. I guess I was hoping I could tote the vine around to where I wanted to go like a transportable IV bag stand and that my leading the way or my lack of interest in the vine wouldn’t have bad consequences because I could always plug in for a quick hit when I really needed it.
In summary, here are the 2 positions:
Jesus’- I’m the vine. Remain in me.
Mine- I’m the branch. Remain near me for when I need you.
I believe the subtle distinction is all that has been necessary to derail me. But I have gained awareness of this and that is huge. I’d appreciate your prayers as I try to shake off old patterns, busyness, and independence in order to reattach to and remain where I belong. I want my life to revolve around the Son.