The center of the path  

 

Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer;  in every situation no matter what the circumstances be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (AMP)  

 

 

The process of 'centering' is broadly used but we seldom really consider it fully when we employ it.

 

Confused about what I mean about this 'centering process'? Let me give you some examples and you will begin to see just how common it is. Once we have clarified the term, we'll come back and see how centering can and should be applied to our spiritual lives.

 

The center in football is the position that hovers over the ball just prior to a play is initiated. All focus of both teams is fixed on the center. Not to do so would render a team ineffective in the drive to their objective.

 

The ball is snapped and everyone executes their plans to move their team closer to its goal. Immediately after the play is completed was happens? Everyone returns focus to the 'center'!

 

Now this example isn't quite where we want to be, but it does provide a handy reference point for us and gives us our first example of centering.

 

In business you constantly have events where a number of individuals are called together either in a formal or impromptu fashion to focus on a specific topic or agenda. They call these gatherings meetings. More successful meeting take place when all the right people are present and they all focus on the agenda for the meeting. In other word they all Center on the objective at hand.

 

In our personal lives there are numerous examples of centering going on all the time that we tend to refer to by other terms.

 

Take a step back….

Take stock of the situation….

Consider our options….

Put our heads together….

Gather your thoughts….

Level set….

Come to an understanding!

 

These are but a few of the many examples of 'centering'. I am sure that you can think of many more if you center your focus on it!

 

Emotional grounding is yet another centering process we likely should be doing to balance out things and keep us on an even keel.

 

I think you have the concept now. We routinely utilize centering to reposition our thinking, align our actions with objectives, readjust thinking, emotions, and our priorities with a goal, be it stated or a general point on the horizon of our existence.

 

Obviously the more specific and the closer we attach ourselves to the objective the more consistent we are in our efforts to progress in the intended direction.

 

Likewise, in spiritual centering, the more we draw near our spiritual center the more in alignment we can be with our spiritual center.

 

Back to our passage:

 

Rejoice always and delight in your faith; be unceasing and persistent in prayer;  in every situation no matter what the circumstances be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (AMP)

 

Go back and really read it again! Here we can clearly see a spiritual centering going on! Better yet a clear agenda, playbook, outline, roadmap of how to go about Centering on Jesus!

 

Rejoice and delight in your faith. There is a song from many years ago that had a chorus of "Put on a happy face" and you might recall "Don't worry, be happy" causing us to break into song as we were driving down the road.

 

It's amazing how our perspective changes so quickly when we simply decide to rejoice. So part of that spiritual centering involves rejoicing and delighting in your faith in Christ Jesus. Step one, got it!

 

Next be unceasing and persistent in prayer. Just as communication in our work, family, and interpersonal relationships is essential; so it is also with God in order to maintain focus and understanding what He's asking of us. We do that by keeping a constant open channel (prayer) with our spiritual leader Jesus Christ!

 

I can almost hear your mind arguing, "If I am constantly talking to Jesus it's going to have an impact on everything I am trying to accomplish"! That is EXACTLY why you need to do it !!!

 

If we don't send Jesus out of our day to day activities, He will have a major impact on not only what we focus on but also how we go about accomplishing our tasks. Step two!

 

in every situation no matter what the circumstances be thankful and continually give thanks to God. Being thankful for what we have helps so much in accomplishing steps one and two. Even… are you ready for this? Even if we have or are facing the loss of everything we hold dear. Even if life itself we feel slipping away from us, the one constant in our lives is IF we have accepted the gift of the Savior we have EVERYTHING to be thankful to God for!

 

Nothing brings focus to our spiritual center as much as acknowledging and thanking Jesus for all that He has done for us! That begins with a rugged cross and an empty tomb!

 

for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus. Our center! The fourth and final step in centering ourselves spirituality is focus on The Savior.

 

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me.

Matthew 16:24 (NLT)

 

Remaining focused, centered on Jesus puts us solidly in the path He's got planned for us. Life may throw darts at us that hurt and trials that may appear insurmountable, but when we are centered on Jesus in this way, there is joy and peace!