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In the year 1543 Nicolaus Copernicus published his famous work, “On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Bodies” where he unleashed his concept of Heliocentrism, the idea that the earth and all the other planets in our solar system revolve around the sun.
Now, I’m not a science buff nor am I a big history guy, but I do know that this was a revolutionary discovery as up until that time it was thought that the opposite was true – that the sun and every other planet in our solar system revolved around US, the planet earth (aka “geocentrism”).
Heliocentrism changed everything, right? Like, it literally revolutionized science and the way every generation that followed would think about the universe and our existence. The universe does NOT revolve around us, but we revolve around something bigger, something greater, something much more powerful.
(An idea that revolutionized science AND can revolutionize your life, too. Right? The universe doesn’t revolve around YOU or ME or US, but our lives ought to revolve around something bigger and greater, Someone bigger and greater.)
Here’s the interesting thing that I want to highlight – Copernicus published his theory of Heliocentrism in 1543.
He actually made the discovery TWENTY-TWO YEARS earlier, in 1521.
And so that means that for 22 years he sat on his idea and didn’t share it with the world. Why? In his book “Originals”, Adam Grant explains that …
“Astronomy stagnated for decades because Nicolas Copernicus refused to publish his original discovery that the earth revolves around the sun. Fearing rejection and ridicule, he stayed silent for 22 years, circulating his findings only to his friends. Eventually, a major cardinal (of the church) learned of his work and wrote a letter encouraging Copernicus to publish it. Even then, he stalled for 4 more years. His magnum opus only saw the light of day after a young mathematics professor took matters into his own hands and submitted it for publication.”
Think about this:
Copernicus made a discovery that changed the course of history BUT history was stalled for 22 years because of a man who was too afraid to be rejected, too afraid to be shunned, too afraid to be laughed at, too afraid to be ridiculed, too afraid to be declared insane, too afraid to go against the norm of his day, too afraid to go against what society and the world deemed to be right and true and correct and flawless.
He had an idea.
He had a belief.
He had a discovery.
He had an inkling.
He had a thought.
… An idea, a belief, a discovery, an inkling, a thought that literally changed the world’s outlook on the entire universe and yet he was content with caving to his fears and keeping it to himself.
This begs the question: how about you?
What kind of IDEA.
What kind of BELIEF.
What kind of DISCOVERY.
What kind of INKLING.
What kind of THOUGHT.
Is buried deep inside of your heart? Of your mind? Of your soul? That is destined to stay buried because you’ve caved to your fears and are way too afraid to run with it? Too afraid to let it out? Too afraid to share it? Too afraid of the insults you might receive? Too afraid of the questions that might come your way? Too afraid of being cast away? Too afraid of being laughed at? Too afraid of failing? Too afraid of falling flat on your face?
Maybe it’s something you’ve been sitting on for the last 22 years …
A business idea.
A non-profit idea.
An idea that could fix a problem in your school system.
An idea that could fix a traffic pattern in your town.
An idea that could fix a problem in your family.
In your church.
In your workplace.
A way of thinking that goes against the grain of how you were raised.
… You’ve had the idea. You’ve brainstormed, you’ve thought, you’ve prayed, you’ve reached … but you just can’t bring yourself to pull the trigger.
Maybe the idea hasn’t even been birthed yet because you’re too afraid to let yourself dream, too afraid to unleash that part of your heart and mind and soul – too afraid that this next dream will bomb like the last one did or that your next dream will require too much energy without any reward?
Whatever the case may be, what sun-orbiting dream is stuck inside of you, locked behind the bars of fear and doubt?
This one is close to my heart because, well, that’s been me for a long, long time. In my own way, I’ve been a modern-day Copernicus. I don’t have any ideas that will revolutionize the world and cause the world to change it’s entire outlook on the universe.
I’m at this point in my life where I’m realizing that I haven’t dreamed in a long, long time. I’ve had some dreams that didn’t work out and a few things that didn’t go anything like I anticipated combined with voices from my past that scream, “you can’t do it” and “you’ll mess it up” and “you might as well not even try” and “you’ll never amount to much of anything”. Merge those voices with an already hesitant nature and walls go up around the dreaming center of the heart pretty quickly.
With all of those thoughts in my mind, I had a conversation with a professor at school last Summer and he really challenged me with something. He said something along the lines of, “You’re not wired for traditional church so stop trying to fit yourself into a traditional church leadership mold. You need to think different, act different, believe different. If you sat down with the elders of your church and listened to their advice for ministry, they would probably give you amazing advice. BUT. If you accepted their advice and acted on it, you’d be failing miserably. Why? Because you’re not wired for the type of ministry they’re used to. You’re meant to think different, to live different. So do it – be different. And let yourself dream about what that means.”
That came from the head of the doctoral program at my school and it really got me thinking about … a lot.
All that to say, I’m on this journey of taking down the wall around the dream center of my heart to see what kind of sun-orbiting dreams might be hiding in there.
How about you?
Are you able to access the dream center of your heart? Or maybe you’ve already accessed it, but you’re too afraid to share with others what’s in there?
What’s the first step you need to take today to unleash / discover the sun-orbiting dream that’s bottled up inside of you? Do you need to start taking down the wall, grabbing a pen and paper, and writing down some ideas … brainstorming about some kind of dream for tomorrow?
Do you need to get together with a friend or someone in your life and share with them a dream you already have and ask them to support you, to believe in you, and to help you refine it?
Whatever you gotta do, go for it, Copernicus. I believe in you.
Here’s some fresh WALLPAPER for your smartphone – download it so you can carry the big idea from today’s post with you all week long and then pass it along to a friend!