Centeredness

Years and years ago I could be deemed “obsessed” with gymnastics.  Though I never took any class, swung on the uneven bars, or mastered a floor exercise, I always imagined I was the next Mary Lou Retton…just a 5’10” version of her!  My height pretty much nixed the idea of me ever becoming a great gymnast, much less achieve any goal of being an Olympian.  No matter, though, I still ate, slept and breathed gymnastics.  When my dearest cousin went to gymnastics class, I accompanied her from time to time.  While she flew through the air on uneven bars, I often walked across the balance beam, imagining myself achieving the perfect backflip and dismount that had the crowd cheering in amazement.

Did I mention this particular beam stood maybe 5 inches off the floor, aka the “practice beam”?

Whatever! A girl can dream, right?  Even on the practice beam, I found maintaining simple balance to be challenging, requiring a lot more focus than typical for an 8 year old, for sure! Just walking across it brought to light just how much determination, focus and discipline it had to take to press on to reach any sort of goal of becoming a world class gymnast.  It was…cut and dry… HARD WORK!

I’m finding my summer to be quite the same challenge.  I typically take the summers off from doing lots of event planning, blogging, meetings, etc.  I relish my time of just being lazy and doing whatever I want with my girls during the day, or just staying up late watching House Hunters (Jeff’s and my favorite show currently).  In a nutshell, I like to take a BREAK from time to time.  Unfortunately, that mindset can spill over into my walk with the Lord.  I get lazy and my time with Him becomes a side thought, rather than the core of who I am.  I go into the stereotypical “funk” and while God is doing amazing things around me, I’m distracted, becoming absorbed in ME and just disinterested in life, in general!  I don’t know about you, but I can only take so much of that.  Any time I’m feeling on edge, snippy or detatched, Jeff always ask, “How’s your time with God? What’s He speaking right now in your life?” Well, it’s so hard to know what God is speaking when I’m not listening.  So, it’s time to hop back up on the balance beam and focus.  Step by step, day by day, opening my heart back up to listening never disappoints, and I’m much less likely to fall off.  We often make having time with God sound so cliche, but my friend, it’s the essence of who we are and who we are becoming.  Our time with Him matters. Each day I see people I love, people in whom I’ve invested making really poor decisions – decisions about where they spend their time, with whom they spend their time, and here lately…what they spend their time watching and reading.  I never thought that these people would do some of the things I’ve seen them doing, until I take time to remember all of the things I’ve done when my focus is on me.  The mean words I’ve uttered, the catty comments I’ve made about another, or the ignoring the needs right in front of me…and yes, I, too, have set things before my eyes that I shouldn’t have been watching.  You may disagree, but nine times out of ten, I trace my behavior back to a lack of time allowing God’s word to penetrate my heart.  Time away from Him can only result in us taking on the characteristics of the world, but His word says clearly to us, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 2:5) To take on the mind of Christ, we have to know just what that is, and we discover just what that is by becoming centered and grounded in His word.  Maybe you’re feeling the “funk” like I am.  Maybe you’ve “fallen off” the beam, so to speak.  Is it worth it to you today to jump back on and set your sights on His ways?  I don’t want to see any of you give up on living the fullest life you can live.  Start today by seeking God on where you need Him most.

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