Why we should look Outward to the Centre of the Universe

I Heart Me (framed)

(Picture: Emily Moe @ Creative Commons)

Recently I was doing photocopying at work, and it was taking an absolute age. There were staples to take out, and I couldn’t simply feed it all through. And I was grumpy. Very grumpy. I felt such frustration welling up, because deep down I felt I was capable of being in a better job. And so began a spate of inner childish anger and resentment.

I turned in on myself and an inner huff welled up inside. I had my standard childish rant at God – the one where I’m the victim, God hates me and never blesses me. You may have experienced this yourself.

Because occasionally, it can feel that way. Ever think everyone else gets all the blessings except you? Feel like God has left you out? I used to think it was just me who felt this, until our pastor shared his own experience of this in a sermon.

In truth, we all feel this way at times.

But then I calmed down. I saw my Dad and spoke to my sister. I remembered the early morning chat with my best mate who’s unemployed. I looked on Facebook and read about people I know who have friends with cancer, or who’ve recently lost a loved one.

And suddenly this inner resentment evaporated. It was just gone. And in it’s place this sinking feeling. The feeling you get which somehow passes from your mind and your emotions physically through your body into your guts.

When you know you’ve been an idiot. When you are opened up to the truth. And the truth cuts into you, pierces you like the sharpest knife.

Suddenly the childish rants mean nothing You realise how much good you have in your life. How lucky you are in so many ways.

And you realise, above all,


you are not the centre of the universe.


It seems we sometimes act like the world literally revolves around us. Every act, every event, begins with us and everyone else is simply commenting, spectating or playing a role. It’s easy to feel this way too. After all, we live in our bodies, we don’t get to be anyone else.

True empathy can be difficult for all of us.

But I’m learning we need to be intentional about empathy.

We need to turn our souls facing outwards more, rather than constantly making it about ourselves. Our default mechanism should be to the other, rather than ourselves. (feel free to tweet that)

Isn’t this what ‘loving our neighbour’ means?

Don’t misunderstand me, self-awareness is important, and we need to be continually examining ourselves. It’s good to be self-aware. But especially in the culture we live in, we need to be looking outwards more. Be intentional about choosing to put others first. To stop before we begin moaning.

Remember we are not the centre of the universe. None of us are.

And when we look outward at the true centre of the universe, He reflects us out again to how He sees the world.

The other. The outsiders. The people who aren’t us.

This is how God sees the world. He looks out on everyone else and puts them first. He doesn’t look upon Himself. And He actually is the centre of the universe.

So let’s be like our maker. Lets look out on the world. Let’s grow in empathy.

Are you with me?



Do you agree with me or disagree with me?

Do you struggle at times to empathise with others?

Do you often get so preoccupied with yourself you forget the bigger picture (like I did)? 




Let me know in the comments below!



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  1. Marc on August 12, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Couldn’t agree more James….as I struggle with illness I need to give time to my and my children and it is so draining.

    • James Prescott on August 12, 2013 at 5:04 pm

      Thanks Marc for commenting, and being so honest. Will be praying for you mate. Take care.

  2. Elyse Salpeter on August 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    I also feel so drained sometimes with just life and kids and work, and then I feel badly that others have it worse and it’s this sick cycle of trying to be thankful for what I have, yet feeling guilty at the same time. I actually started yoga to see if it will help me balance myself out. We shall see.

    • James Prescott on August 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      Thanks for your comment Elyse – think we all feel that way at times. It’s okay I think to feel the way we do, just good to get some perspective and find some balance. Hope you find that. Thanks again for commenting! 🙂

    • lisajey on August 13, 2013 at 3:50 am

      It will @elysesalpeter:disqus! You have to give it time, and sometimes Yoga classes are like trying to find the right meds for a psycho case… lol You have to find the right teacher that hits the nail on the head for you…

  3. Chris Morris on August 12, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    When life gets really busy and overwhelming, it’s my natural instinct to turn inward. This is a habit that is so hard for me to break. Even though I know it’s the right thing to do.

    • James Prescott on August 12, 2013 at 10:18 pm

      Yeah, it’s hard for me to break too. Still struggling not to pray for myself each day. That’s all the journey I guess. Don’t worry Chris, you aren’t alone in your struggling to deal with this. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Mandy on August 12, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I agree with you James. When life is challenging I fail to look outwards. How amazing that God’s love remains unchanging when we ‘forget’ His world doesn’t begin and end with us.

    • James Prescott on August 13, 2013 at 6:23 am

      Yes, definitely Mandy, completely agree. Thanks for your comment, much appreciated.

  5. Onisha Ellis on August 13, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Each person, even those we think are the most blessed have their own personal woes and frustrations. They may not be big to someone whose child has cancer but they are big to them. I think it is ok to feel frustration and acknowledge it but then move on, realize one is not the center of the universe. On the bright side, if you have committed this issue to God he will surely give you as many “opportunities” as you need to get it right or as we say here in the south USA, to go around that mountain again!

    • James Prescott on August 13, 2013 at 6:22 am

      Great comment Onisha – agree that sometimes what seems trivial to others can be huge to us. However, at the same time it’s important to have perspective – I guess it’s about finding balance in between the two. Thanks for the comment, appreciate it!

  6. lisajey on August 13, 2013 at 3:51 am

    Empathy — the gift that shows we possess and can give true love… great post!

    • James Prescott on August 13, 2013 at 6:21 am

      Thanks Lisa Jey, really appreciate your comment & encouragement.

  7. Luann Robinson Hull on August 13, 2013 at 3:52 am

    Beautiful post. How difficult it is to get to the place where we look outside ourselves, though!

    • James Prescott on August 13, 2013 at 6:20 am

      Completely agree, it really isn’t easy is it? Thanks for the comment & encouragement!

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