Posts Tagged ‘centering’

If the Christ is keeping me from falling, then the implication is clear: my tendency is to fall. Probably, I am more off balance than on, leaning at an edge. Without the centering power of the Christ, I will cascade, slowly or quickly, depending on my grip, into the pit, the valley, the quicksand.

Jude 1:24
To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—

I have just journeyed the Christmas season with little anchoring. I allowed the busy-ness of the holidays to pull me away from my center. Even church events became distractions instead of magnets, as well as shopping, wrapping, and food preparation – awesome Martha [Luke 10:40] activities – but little centering time. I discovered I can sing about the baby Jesus, I can listen to hymns, I can go to church and pray corporately, but it does not keep me from falling out of the Presence.

Like the woman with the issue of blood [Luke 8:43-48], I must be intentional in centering down with the Holy Spirit; I must reach out and grab onto to the cloak, the covering, the access points I have been given. Oh sure, God is gracious and merciful, and I am not condemned, but I have missed a blessing by not inhabiting the presence of Christ within.

Jude commends us to “pray IN in the Holy Spirit.” Some believe this phrase means to pray in tongues or other form of “spiritual” language. And I don’t discount these as possibilities, but I am more interested in the intent of praying WITH the Holy Spirit within. It is a joint effort, this type of praying, it is praying without boundaries, it is praying in unison, it is praying out of a relationship. It is divine. It is powerful. It is holy.

And from here, the soul is centered, the spirit is centered, and as a result, the body is centered, joined to the Spirit of Wholeness [holiness].

At this time of year, many begin looking to the New Year, with resolutions and goal setting. I have but one: to remain in the Presence of Holy Spirit who keeps me from falling.

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It’s time to put some idols under the microscope. I get too complacent about my idols, thinking they have little power, after all, how bad could they be? I’m a walking believer, I study the scriptures, I pray, I go to church, I even fast . . .

I John 5:21
Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)–[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life]. Amen (so let it be).

All faith-based disciplines are a help to the life of a follower of Christ. All of these practices aid the fuller indwelling of the Holy Spirit. But for every discipline and practice that is a help, there are “idols” that pull and push against us . . . me.

My idols (in no particular order):

  • Newspapers, News, Blogs, or just about anything on the Internet
  • Lattes and Loose Tea, brewed correctly
  • Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, FlickR
  • Sleeping late; pushing the snooze button 4 times
  • Being Busy, really busy, I mean really, really busy
  • Reading as many books at the same time as I can: current load is 8
  • Driving alone, so I can listen to an audio book
  • Smart Phone
  • Gadgets, or coveting gadgets, or reading about gadgets
  • Being funny
  • Being casual about money, a joke, since it’s in short supply
  • Writing anything: blog, book, reports, instructions, grocery lists
  • Photography, even without a good camera; or maybe it’s kvetching about that too
  • NPR (if I’m short on audio book) – silence not allowed in the car
  • Panera with a few special people (you know who you are)
  • Scheduling the family: even after age 18
  • Age lines, puffy veins, dry eye, sore feet, plus lots of extra pounds
  • Talking, a nice way of saying gossip
  • Being with and taking care of dogs & cats
  • Candles = ambiance
  • Pandora: Smooth Jazz
  • Work: librarian, manager, volunteer, parent
  • Workshops and Training – learn something else new
  • Children’s needs, Husband’s needs and all the needs they don’t know they need

Oh, come on, goofy right? Aren’t idols supposed to be like Mother Teresa or Brad Pitt? Aren’t they the rich and famous, the indulgences, the lofty or the lowly?

No, not really. I mean, I suppose those are issues too, but really, for me, it’s the “time suckers!” : anything that takes me away from my awareness of the Presence within, the marriage of Spirit, the inner life, Christ in me and me in Christ. That’s the very essence of what it means to be an overcomer in this world, this age, this culture. I know all this in my mind, but instead, I act out: I step on my scale and start another diet, I read too many posts, I play too much Scrabble or Words with Friends, I fill my time and watch the digital clock on my computer turn over, minute by minute by minute.

I occupy my mind. Ha Ha. Occupy Irmgarde. These activities, these mind numbing time wasters, they are all camping out inside me. And even if none are particularly bad, they draw me away from my center.

When I was in acting school, I learned a surefire remedy for hiccups: every time! Basically, it requires the person to “relax the diaphragm.” That’s all. But, to do cure usually requires silence, stillness, breath, and centering.

To cure idol pandering depends on the same practices.

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