In August our family was about to wind up our 25th summer of evangelism across the continent. We drove one thousand miles overnight from Montana to Missouri. As we entered South Dakota, we came upon the little town of Belle Fourche. First, I found the historic wedge-shaped building where the railroad track and the street meet at an acute angle. It made for “a cute” building shaped like a piece of pie.
Then I was told about the spot in town that is the geographic center of the fifty states. (As a boy I had been to Lebanon, Kansas, to see the center of the forty-eight states, and for the last two years I have seen the monument in Rugby, North Dakota, for the center of North America.) We drove back two blocks to the museum with flags for all fifty states and took turns standing on the small disc that marked the center of our country.
That makes me think of how Americans often act. We many times act as if we are the center of attention, and everything else revolves around us. “Us four and no more.” “After me, you’re first.” It reminds me of the old joke that a graduating senior would give a speech and announce, “In kindergarten, I was the line-leader.” Who cares? Who remembers? What difference does it make twelve years later?
Human nature is to be selfish, and self-centered. Yes, we often act like we are the pivotal point of the whole country, but we are not. Very few of us live in Belle Fourche. Very few of us are nationally known. We really spend most of our lives in obscurity, and God blesses the humble anyway. We should put others first. We must decrease and He must increase in our lives. We should humble ourselves and let God exalt us if He so chooses.