“But I want first of all …to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life… I am seeking perhaps what Socrates asked for… ‘May the outward and inward man be as one.’ I would like to achieve a state of inner spiritual grace from which I could function and give as I was meant to in the eye of God.” (Anne Morrow Lindbergh, “Gift From the Sea.”)
Lindbergh does an eloquent job of articulating how she wants her life to be centered, but I didn’t find as I read further that she offered an effective way to do this. Being centered, being in sync with the Creator, is one of my deepest desires as well. Here are some things I have found to be effective.
Prayer centers, almost more than anything else. It centers us because our meditation reminds us of what is important. And, if we know that God is responding to our prayer, that the solution to every trouble comes from him alone, we are not tossed about by life and worries, but waiting calmly, hoping in Him.
“Let all that is in my wait in silence before the Lord. My hope is in Him.” Ps 62:5
Dwelling on the Word centers us. We can be distracted by competing priorities, pressures from the world about what is important. Or we can read the Bible each morning, and remember it throughout the day, and let this define our life.
“The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
Knowing that God is real, powerful and caring centers us. When we believe He is sovereign and in control of our lives, actively involved in our lives, then we can live at peace.
“As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. The disciples went and woke him, saying, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’ He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. ‘Where is your faith?’ he asked his disciples.”
Humility centers us. It is the orientation that we should have it all figured out that causes us stress. Admitting that we need God to guide us makes all of the pieces of life fall into place.
Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. Ps 143:8
He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed. The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away Is 50:4-5
Blessed are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven Matt 5:3