January 26, 2009

Your Center At Rest
by Pastor George Van Alstine

Civil Rights leader Andrew Young has used this old Quaker proverb in some of his speeches:
“The wheel goes round because the center is at rest.”
This is a sound scientific principle, with reference to the way a wheel spins around a stationary axle. It is also a true description of how our spiritual center has to be at peace in order for our life to move forward in a meaningful way.

An old hymn of testimony puts it this way:
“Though the angry surges roll
On my tempest-driven soul,
I am peaceful for I know,
Wildly though the winds may blow,
I’ve an anchor safe and sure
That can evermore endure.

“Troubles almost ‘whelm the soul;
Griefs like billows o’er me roll;
Tempters seek to lure astray;
Storms obscure the light of day:
But in Christ I can be bold,
I’ve an anchor that shall hold.”

The prophet Isaiah wrote these familiar words:
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee.” (Isaiah 26:3)
I’ve quoted this in the King James Version because of the translator’s choice of the word “stayed.” It seems to express the subtle but solid support a person’s mind and heart can have in a relationship with God. The verb “stayed” is actually passive, indicating it does not depend on the person’s holding power, but on God’s power to hold the person steady.

Jesus “steadies,” or “stays” the mind and heart of a believer in him through all circumstances. His promise is given to anyone who trusts him:
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled [unsteadied], and do not let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

If your center is at rest, the wheel of your life will spin smoothly and keep you moving forward in God’s path.