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January 27, 2009 by currbell

“I hope you understand what I mean when I speak of living out of the Center. I am of course referring to God, but I do not mean God in an abstract theoretical sense, nor even God in the sense of One to be feared and revered. Nor do I mean God only in the sense of the One to be loved and obeyed. For years I loved God and sought to obey him, but he remained on the periphery of my live. God and Christ were extremely important to me but certainly not the Center. After all, I had many tasks and aspirations that did not relate to God in the least. What, for heaven’s sake, did swimming and gardening have to do with God? I was deeply committed, but I was not integrated or unified. I though that serving God was another duty to be added onto an already busy schedule.

But slowly I came to see that God desired to be not on the outskirts, but at the heart of my experience. Gardening was no longer an experience outside of my relationship with God- I discovered God in the gardening. Swimming was no longer just good exercise- became an opportunity for communion with God. God in Christ had become the Center.

You may be wondering what all this had to do with simplicity. Perhaps I could explain it this way. Within all of us is a whole conglomerate of selves. There is the timid self, the courageous self, the business self, the parental self, the religious self, the literary self, the energetic self…If a decision is made to spend a relaxing evening listening to Chopin, the business self and civic self rise up in protest at the lost of precious time…But when we experience life at the Center, all is changed. Our many selves come under the control of the divine Arbitrator…Everything becomes oriented to the new Center of reference.”

Freedom of Simplicity-Finding Harmony in a Complex World by Richard J. Foster

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