Word of Encouragement

When I was in college a lifetime ago, one of the fad psychology trends was centering. Gurus offered seminars and even classes on centering. Of course I took one. Could not resist. So the basic idea was to think your way through the clutter of life, you had to peel back the chaos and confusion and focus on the most important thing: you. And now, 45 years later, I think they almost got it right. All that needs to change is the focus. To focus on self only leads to disappointment and selfishness. And really, how many times does Jesus tell us to focus on ourselves? In reality, there are at least three better things on which we could center.

1. Center on someone else or some other group of people. What do they need? How can I serve her? What is on his mind? Jesus does say, “love your neighbor.”

2. Center on caring for the planet, the seas and the rivers, the beasts of the fields and the birds of the air. The Bible does say God gave us dominion over the planet.

3. Center on Jesus and ask yourself, “Jesus what would you have me do? Or better, who would you have me become?”

All three options are far better than the fad os self-fulfilment through self centering. There is, though, a valuable lesson from the centering fad. To center, we need to eliminate as much of life as is causing the chaos and find what brings order and purpose. To do that, we need to simplify mind and garage, calendar and wallet. And it is not enough to know we need to do this; we then need to do it. At first others will come up against the desire to change. People do not like change. They want to keep stuff, spend money on self, occupy every minute on self satisfaction. In short, they may seem a bit uncooperative. So invite them along. Start with you and invite others to lead a more simple life.

~Grace & Peace~
Pastor Ernie

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