Monday, May 12, 2008

What's at The Center?

I know as well as anyone the many things that pull at our lives. I was just explaining to Sarah, my wife, that I am trying to narrow down the things that I am trying to manage in the coming year or so. I need to go through the process of remembering my priorities. My starting point is the center of my life. I need to get clear about what is the single thing to which all other things are anchored to. As you might guess, God is my answer. At the center of everything I do, every role I play is God, and the relationship I have with God through Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit. Now the key is to settle everything else around that center. And when something else is the center, God is pushed out. There is only room for one thing in the center.

What competes for the center of your life?
Often it is things which are good, and godly which can creep into the center of my life pushing God out. My family, which deserves more of my time than they get, is not the center of my life. They are right there next to the center, but I cannot allow them to be the center. The congregation I serve, while they are great people, and God is doing great things within us, they cannot be the center of my life. All of the teaching opportunities which I am asked to fulfill cannot be the center. There are things like selfish ambition, laziness, greed and the like which can invade the center of my life. The key is to have others around me to snap me back to reality.

Who in your life is the reality check?
The first reality check I have is my wife. God has blessed me with a wife who gives me a lot of grace to follow after God. However, when the time comes, with great love and compassion she gently calls me back to reality. The second group of people is my covenant group. The four of us have been journeying together for over two years, and amongst many other things we provide that reality check for each other.

Kerry and Chris Shook reminded me in today's chapter in One Month to Live that whatever we worry about is taking the place of God in our lives. What is pushing God out of the center?

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