One more measure of wisdom for this week, and in case you haven't noticed, I'm taking these straight from the pages of my life. These aren't just theories or good ideas; this is real. This is where flesh meets faith. And today's measure of wisdom is something that can only be described as center.
Center is that place where you're completely at ease. It's that place where you're comfortable and confident in who you are and what's going on. It doesn't mean things are perfect; things are never perfect. It means you're content to let things be the way they will be and that you're confident enough to live anyway.
It's too easy in our world to get your center off balance. Insecurities creep in and convince you that you need certain things to be certain ways or life is just going to fall apart. You spend your life not in promise, but in proximity - the closer you can stay to the way things are, the happier your life. You judge your life by distance, and when something starts to change or something starts to move, you feel it. Like a cosmic quake in the depths of your soul.
It's anxiety, really, at its best, and it takes many degrees. For some, it's a temporary jolt that paralyzes them only slightly before they can make the next move. For others, it's total paralysis. There are some people who can sense how far from home they've driven, even on an errand to the next town over, and panic as the distance grows. They are that tied to the known, that anchored to the way things are.
Which sounds almost like a reasonable goal. Shouldn't life be somewhat routine? Shouldn't it be somewhat predictable? Isn't there something great about being able to predict things? Yes and no. Of course it's a comfort when life is fairly easily known, but that fairly easily known life can easily become a deep rut if you're not careful. Soon you look around and realize there's no way out of your own life. This is anxiety turned depression.
And I guess if we're being honest (or I'm being honest, and I should be because this is my space), I'm one of those persons who has spent my life feeling the distance. I have had things in my life that I've always thought that I needed to be true, and I have clung to things I desperately wanted to mean more to me. I have felt distance in my life in some of the simplest things, that aching anxiety of getting further and further away from a place called home.
But the older I get, the harder it gets to be happy living this way. The box I've lived in gets smaller by the moment, and the air grows stale. This is true for anyone who lives in anxiety. And it's not that I've given up a place called home; I've merely moved it. It's no longer a place to which I run; it's the place on which I stand. It's not my dwelling; it's God dwelling in me. It's this sense of comfort and confidence that I take with me because it's in me. My home base is no longer the life God has built for me but the very heart He has put in me.
It makes all the difference.
From this place, I can go anywhere. I can do anything. Anywhere and anything I am called, in the faithfulness of God, to go and to do. I don't have to battle the anxiety any more because there is no distance. There can't be; I take home with me. My spirit feels fuller. Stronger. Safer. My life is more confident. My ache soothed. I can go anywhere and be just as close to home as I ever was. I can do anything and not lose that feeling of having a place to retreat. It literally changes the way I breathe. This home, this sense of home, it's inside me and I can't just leave.
Consider me grounded. (See what I did there?)
So I think center is one of the wisdoms of life, one I'm still growing in but I'm getting there. It's this subtle shift of bringing yourself in line with yourself, with the God inside you so that you operate out of your depths instead of out of your distances. So that no matter where you go, no matter what you do, you're home. You're in your Father's house. You're right where you ought to be.