It’s kind of hip to be eccentric these days. No one wants to be run-of-the-mill or ordinary, so eccentric sounds like a nice option. Quirky, unusual, a little odd.
But when applied to the Christian, eccentric is not the enviable label. While the term eccentric has taken on such acceptable meanings as “a little quirky, out of the normal, and a little unusual, especially in a funky and nostalgic sort of way,” the word actually means “to be out of the center, not centered.”
When we begin to focus on that which is not really the priority, that which is peripheral, we become “off centered.” When we become consumed with that which looks large, but really isn’t, we become off kilter. When we become obsessed with those things that are really trivial and unimportant in the greater scheme of things, we become…well, eccentric.
It’s easy to get life out of focus. To dwell on that which we can see, that which looms large in our immediate scope of vision, that which yells the loudest to get our attention. It’s easy to become so focused on our own problems, our own schedules, our own goals, and our own pursuits, that we become blinded to all else.
I know I find myself off-center on a regular basis. Like a fish hugging the shore line of a large pond, I swim in the shallow water of my own self-absorption, my own “overwhelming” situations, my own concerns. At that point I easily forget the deeper things that can only be found in a well centered life.
Isaiah 40:22 says: