The Center of the Universe

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I sat on the gray, wooden steps of the porch and pointed my camera up at the brilliant yellow of a bird-planted sunflower.  I sat because I couldn’t trust my balance to keep me steady while standing and holding the camera with both hands.

Just a few days earlier, the world had spun around me like a carousel out of control, and when it stopped, it left me reeling and nauseous.

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At the doctor’s office, the nurse noticed my eyes scanning the floor in front of my feet and my hand reaching for the wall to steady myself.

Don’t look down, she cautioned.  Look up.  Look ahead.


The doctor wrote “vertigo” in a space on the yellow form left blank for a diagnosis.

Inner ear . . . possibly a virus . . . medication three times a day . . . keep your head steady

All this would help control the dizziness, to keep the world from spinning.


But the world really is spinning, rotating on its axis at about 1,000 miles per hour (at the equator).


The earth is orbiting the sun at 67,000 miles per hour, and our sun is speeding around the center of our Milk Way galaxy at 490,000 miles per hour.

Spiral Galaxy M74

Even though we are spinning and circling and hurtling through the galaxy, we can’t sense that enormous velocity.  There is no galactic motion sickness. “Dizzying” speeds produce no dizziness.

Despite the unimaginable and yet undetectable speeds, my world can be still.  When the eternal God is the center of my universe, there is peace and calm.

But when I put myself at the center of all things, and my life spins on the axis of my self-centeredness, there is no tranquility.  There is dis-ease–vertigo of the soul.  I was never meant to be the center of the universe.  Only God is.

The nurse’s words echo.

Don’t look down.  Look up.  Look ahead.

I need to turn my gaze away from my own stumbling feet and toward the God who created

the star-studded, spiraled arms of galaxies,

the intersecting spirals at the center of a sunflower,

and tiny, perfect spiral of the cochlea of the inner ear.

Then my world will cease its frantic, dizzying spin.  It will quiet and be still.

Be still before the Lord
    and wait patiently for him;   Psalm 37:7   NIV

 Be still, and know that I am God   Psalm 46:10   NIV

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earth photo from

galaxy photo from

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Diane W. Bailey  linking with Diane W. Bailey 

Sandra Heska King - Still Saturday  linking with Sandra Heska King

Essential Fridays Linkup   linking with Essential Thing Devotions

  linking with Jennifer Dukes Lee

  linking with Holley Gerth

Posted on August 2, 2014, in Devotional and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. Your post has stopped me in my tracks. To ponder the amazing works of God who’s planted us on this dizzy planet and keeps up from spinning out of control when we still ourselves in His center. How can anyone deny His existence when we gaze on His creation like this sunflower and consider the works of His hands? Thanks so much for this and for linking up with Still Saturday.

    P.S. My son has suffered from vertigo for years. Terrible, terrible thing. It’s kept him out of work for days at a time. They’ve finally put him on a migraine preventative (he never has headaches), and that seems to have done the trick even though this is the most stressful time of his life. If you’re still suffering, I’m praying it disappears pronto. If it’s gone, I’m praying it stays gone.

    • Thanks so much for your comment, Sandra! As I learn more about God’s creation, my awe increases. We are fearfully and wonderfully made, and the stars declare his glory.
      I appreciate your prayers–I’m improving!

  2. Visiting from Sandra’s place, and I’m so glad I came by.

    I never thought I could conceive vertigo as a gift–but it’s drawn your attention to something we often forget.

  3. Beautiful and vibrant – both the photo and the words!

  4. inspiredbyjune

    I love this, Constance! What a beautiful take-a-way from a scary incident. I pray your vertigo isn’t permanent and that you are feeling “steady” once again very soon! Blessings!

  5. What an awesome God! He upholds the galaxies and blessed you with insight even in your difficulty…thanks for sharing this stunning post and reminding us to look up to Him for our stability. May He heal your inner ear and calm those dizzy feelings.

  6. I guess that’s a life quote, isn’t it? “Don’t look down. Look up. Look ahead.” Thanks for this reminder today. I’m visiting from the blog link-up. Blessings!

  7. Wow, how amazing that we are moving at such dizzying speeds and yet don’t feel it. Such a supernatural quality to all of it, makes me wonder how some people don’t believe in God when they contemplate it. A great metaphor for life from the nurse :”don’t look down, look ahead”. Reminds me of Paul’s verse in Philippians which I quoted today “forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead…”

    • Thanks for stopping by, Laura. I’m glad you wrote about that verse in Philippians and reminded me of those principles.
      I really like the Message paraphrase :
      “Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”

  8. Constance, I DO love sunflowers. Thank you for sharing them and thank you for the gift of linking up over at Photo Friday. ~Di

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