Finding the Center
by Kimberly Dunnam Reisman
When my children were young, we spent a lot of time at the playground, and one of their favorite things was the merry-go-round. You don’t see merry-go-rounds anymore, but they were a playground staple years ago that provided my children great joy. Granted, these contraptions are likely quite dangerous and children growing up today are probably much safer without them, but my kids loved them. They would hold on and push hard with their feet. As more children were attracted to the spinning and began pushing, the merry-go-round would turn faster and the children’s laughter and squeals of delight would grow louder.
I was always amazed that Nathan, Maggie, and Hannah could spin and spin without a hint of nausea, while just watching was almost more than I could bear. But there they would be, hanging on to this whirly device that seemed to be spinning out of control, leaning way out with their heads flung back and hair flying, enjoying the speed. After awhile, they would tire of the effort required to hang on and scoot toward the center where the force of the turning decreased and their stability increased.
That’s a great metaphor for life. The many and varied commitments of our lives often spin us at a dizzying rate. We live at such a pace that we feel we are either about to be flung off the whirling merry-go-round altogether, or we teeter dangerously close to losing our sense of balance.
At one time or another, all of us know the feeling of holding on with all our might while wishing for stability and balance. Just as dizzy children move to the center of the merry-go-round where the force of spinning is less powerful, we need to move to a place of centeredness, a place of steadiness, strength, and guidance for sorting through the responsibilities of our lives. I am not talking about a literal place, but a state of being—a way of thinking and living—that results when Christ is at the center of our lives.
Prayer: Holy Lord, as I breathe in your presence today, help me find my center with you. When the world seems to be spinning faster, remind me that coming to you as my center gives me strength and offers me your priceless guidance for living my life.