One of the most important inventions that we have is that of a wheel. In fact, some people think that the wheel is the single most important invention ever. A simple round circle with no beginning or no end, transformed this world. Wheels are classified as a simple machine, which was invented to make the user’s work easier.
When I think of wheels, my first thought is of the wheels on a car, bicycle, handcart, truck, wagon, etc. However, the first wheel that was invented was actually a potter’s wheel. Wet clay is plopped onto the potter’s wheel and when the potter spins the wheel, centrifugal force helps the potter to form his object. I imagine that this invention was very well received and eased the potter’s work substantially.
Before the wheel was adapted for transportion use, people had to walk on the land and they had to carry those items in which they were transporting. Over thousands of years the basic design of a wheel for transportation purposes has remained the same. A smaller circle in the very middle of the wheel, called a hub, when affixed to a moving part enables the greater circumference of an automobile tire, wagon, hand truck, or the like, to rotate across surfaces. It’s ingenious! But, without the addition of the hub, the very center of the wheel, that for which we use the wheel would be worthless. The center, the hub, is vitally important, we couldn’t transport items without that hub.
Way back in the days when the Israelites were in the wilderness, they too learned the importance of placing something in the very center. After God, through Moses, had the Israelites build the tabernacle, God’s place of dwelling and worship, He had them place the tabernacle in the very center of their camp. Each of the twelve tribes camped around the tabernacle.
“Then the Lord gave these instructions to Moses and Aaron: “When the Israelites set up camp, each tribe will be assigned its own area. The tribal divisions will camp beneath their family banners on all four sides of the Tabernacle, but at some distance from it.” (Numbers 2:1-2 NLT)
“Then the Tabernacle, carried by the Levites, will set out from the middle of the camp. All the tribes are to travel in the same order that they camp, each in position under the appropriate family banner.” (Numbers 2:17 NLT)
The symbology of this image is significant – God is in the very center of the camp and all the clans revolve around Him. God’s presence is in that Tabernacle, the place of worship. And, when the Israelites move, the Tabernacle moves also, in the very center. Life revolves around that very important Tabernacle, as the Israelites learn who God is, and what it means to be his chosen ones.
When Jesus came and sacrificed Himself so that we could be made righteous in God, we who believe were given the Holy Spirit to dwell within us. We no longer need a tabernacle to experience the presence of God, because He dwells within our hearts. We become the temple of the Holy Spirit by virtue of God’s grace. In other words, God becomes our hub, our center from which all things revolve.
Over time, we may forget just how important it is that we have God as our hub. We get distracted by the temporal things of the world. Our attention is sucked away by those things that the enemy uses to distract us – his goal? To pull us off center, away from God. To pull us off of our course. To render our witness ineffective. To demonstrate our hypocrisy. To put a stop to God’s will driving our decisions, or our lives.
When, not if, but when I am pulled away, I need to remember to re-center myself on my hub. Yes, God as the ultimate center, the hub, is at the center of it all, as He should be.
Tell me, is God the hub of your wheel?