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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

Centered
Date Posted: April 7, 2007

Have you ever tried to center a picture on a wall or a paragraph or graphic in the middle of a page? How do you know it's truly centered? There must be a reference point.

Whether furniture or page margins, something must be designated to serve as a reference for the center point. Many times when moving scenery, stage furniture and sound equipment, or even flower arrangements on the stage in my church building, I have struggled to make sure something was centered. I am ashamed to admit I'm so easily distracted, but there have been Sunday mornings when I, or someone else, have not been successful in centering something and it has bothered me throughout the worship service.

I made an interesting connection a couple of weeks ago. After years of using the same two reference points to center objects and equipment on the church stage, it finally occurred to me that they have spiritual significance. When I stand on stage and attempt to center the pulpit or something else while looking out into the auditorium, I use the clock on the back wall as a reference point. It dawned on me that the clock is at the back of the room for a reason - not so the preacher can keep it short, but so that the congregation doesn't get distracted and centered on the wrong thing, the things of the world.

Turning around and looking toward the stage to ensure that the pulpit or a flower arrangement is centered, my reference point is a large wooden cross which hangs behind the stage. Centered on the cross - that's about as centered as one can be, I believe! This is what we see as we worship, listen to the Word preached, partake of the Lord's Supper and give tithes and offerings to the Lord. This is the reason we are able to come together as Christians and come before God asking forgiveness and offering ourselves.

Of course, the cross is only a symbol and God could have chosen another means of sacrificing His son for our forgiveness, but because the cross in its simplicity was the means by which Christ died for us, it has been one of the most recognized symbols in history. John 19:17 describes, "Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place off the Skill (which is Aramaic is called Golgotha). Here they crucified him, and with him two others - one on each side and Jesus in the middle." Centered.

I can spend precious time trying to center a flower arrangement or scenery and even if my reference point is the cross, unless my heart and mind are also centered there it is all for nothing. Staying centered is not always easy, but when I think about what happened on that cross and that it happened for me, I will renew my efforts to be pleasing to the Lord and encouraging to others.

"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace." - Hebrews 6:4-6. I don't want to repeat the mistakes of the Israelites, who as God's chosen people still rejected him over and over, even having been given clear instructions about what he wanted from them. I have God's instructions for my life through His Word and I have the promise of salvation through the sacrifice of His son.

My part in the plan is to remain centered - on Him.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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