That title may have been a bit misleading. This post isn't about Lion King or New Age ideas, for that matter. Although, I bet you're humming the song now, aren't you? :)
In the world around us, they represent many things: unity, infinity, wholeness, the sun...and yes, of course--good ole' mathematics.
I have been thinking a lot about circles lately. I've been seeing them everywhere. Wreaths, matchbox wheels, and in the tea leaves in the bottom of my coffee mug (seriously, though). I guess they are always there, but I have been a little more tuned in to their presence recently. And, of course, I'm curious as to why. Why have they been drawing my attention, lately?
In Christianity, a circle can represent God himself. He has no beginning; He has no end. He is constant, continuous, complete. Unchanging.
But one description of circles via Wikipedia caught my eye:
A circle can be defined as the curve traced out by a point that moves so that its distance from a given point is constant.
As I read that, a picture began to form that I couldn't get out of my head.
What if we, as Christians, are meant to be like the curve of the circle and Jesus, the given point at its center? It would make sense, wouldn't it? We find our center in Him. When we move, it's as though an invisible line keeps us in orbit around Him. That line or radius between Jesus and ourselves is grace which keeps us within circumference by way of the center--Jesus.
But we're not lone points on the end of a radius, or we would simply have a line. There are many points along that circumference, each with its own connection to the center, although the radius itself remains the same. No one is closer or further from the center, or works harder to have connection.
As I thought about this, I thought that if I were a point trying to connect with another point on the exact opposite side of the circle, the point I had the least in common with, the quickest way would be through the center. The radius doubles and there is now a full diameter between me and that person, with Jesus at the center. He becomes the common ground and there is unity.
Blah, blah, blah hippie lady. So what?
What if one of us along that curve wasn't looking toward its center--at Jesus--but instead was looking outside of the circle for something? Clarity, understanding, solidarity. The radius (grace) still keeps us in circumference--that doesn't change, but our vantage point does. We are unable to connect with any points along the curve, much less its center, because everything we see is now outside of the circle.
(go test it out--look at a circle, seriously...it's crazy)
When facing the center of the circle, we can see everything that is within it and our own position makes sense. We can now connect with any points within the circle, because we can see them clearly when our focus is at the center.
The cool thing about this circle is that it is ever-widening. It isn't an exclusive circle, because anyone can join in. However, the way for a point to find its way into circumference will always be through connection to its center by way of the radius.