MONDAY MEDITATION: Center of Gravity (March 11)

Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. — Matthew 6:33

The concept of center of gravity was brought home to me very early in life. When I was around 20 I was asked to drive the church bus as part of my summer youth leader job. The custodian of the church in Poplar Bluff spent an hour with me training on this Titannic-long, yellow former school bus. And that’s all the instruction I got. No need to pass a test and get a Commercial Driver’s License. Just get behind the wheel with 30 or 40 yelling kids and take it out on the road, all the while trying to get the hang of manually shifting gears and staying on pavement.

Those were the days.

One of the first things I learned was not to take curves too fast if you’re driving a school bus. It’s because the vehicle has a high center of gravity. Go too fast around a curve, and a vehicle with a high center of gravity wants to continue in a straight line. I think the only time the kids in the bus grew quiet was when the bus leaned to one side as I took the curve. We must have had a guardian angel who had a CDL license.

This is a rather long way to talk about spiritual center of gravity. That’s what Jesus was getting at in his Sermon on the Mount teaching. Center on what’s of utmost importance in life–making God and God’s kingdom your top priority, like he did. When you start letting anxieties from lesser things consume you, it’s a tell-tale sign that you’re rounding that curve too fast.

The late Catholic priest Henri Nouwen urged us to “shift your center of gravity,” where we make just one thing the main thing. He said, “Jesus asks us to move our hearts to the center, where all other things fall into place.”

That’s a better way to handle the curves.

4 thoughts on “MONDAY MEDITATION: Center of Gravity (March 11)”

  1. Greg, this is a wonderful analogy….to remind us to “shift” our priorities, & put God first, others second, & me third…
    Thank you for all you do & who YOU are!


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