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  • Writer's pictureChuck Monan

Everything Revolves Around God



The sun, with all the planets revolving around it and depending on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as though it had nothing else in the universe to do.

⎯ Galileo Galilei


Only love interests me, and I am only in contact with things that revolve around love.

⎯ Marc Chagall


A man who overindulges lives in a dream. He becomes conceited. He thinks the whole world revolves around him, and it usually does.

⎯ W.C. Fields



 

Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi was a Sufi philosopher and mystic poet who lived eight hundred years ago (1207-1273). Rumi saw nature as an entity that possessed wisdom and communities with God, its creator. The processes of nature are controlled by God. Nature speaks, and the mystic/enlightened mind hears it.


The Islamic sect, the Sufi, and followers of the order founded by Rumi, are committed to peace, dialogue and enlightened knowledge that can transcend the divisions and conflicts endemic in the world. These followers, known as the Semazen (or Whirling Dervishes). Through their whirling ceremony of dance they seek the unification of the three principal components of man’s nature: emotion, mind and spirit. Since everything in the universe, from the smallest particles to the largest planets, is constantly revolving or spinning, they revolve in the shared revolution of existence given by the Creator of the universe.

Too bad that Sufism isn’t as popular or influential in the Islamic world as the harsh, violent approach of Wahhabism that continues to inspire terrorism and jihad.


Several years ago I was privileged to attend a demonstration by the Whirling Dervishes of Rumi. It was a unique, beautiful ceremony that communicates a much-needed message to today’s world: everything revolves around God.

Everything. Whether we are wise enough to realize it or not.


Christians should be in a better position than anyone to understand this. The Bible opens with the words: “In the beginning GodÖ” (Gen. 1:1). It closes with the words “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End” (Rev. 22:13). If God is the beginning and the end, doesn’t it logically follow that he is everything in between, too?


Knowing God for oneself, as opposed to merely knowing or thinking about him, is at the heart of Christian living. Discovering that God is gracious, rather than a distant bureaucrat or a dangerous tyrant, is the good news that constantly surprises and refreshes us. But we are not the center of the universe. God is not circling around us. We are circling around him. We are in orbit around God and his purposes.

⎯ N.T. Wright, Justification



 





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