God-centered

Tuesday, April 16

4-16By John Bonney of Springfield, Oregon, USA

When your willingness to live in sacred community as Christ’s new creation exceeds your natural fear of spiritual and relational transformation, you will become who you are called to be.

—Doctrine and Covenants164:9b

My wife had laparoscopic surgery. The nerve involved was highly displeased. Injured nerves are said to be “hot.” A hot nerve does not simply settle down after the trauma is over. It takes nerves a long time to cool, perhaps months.

When she came home from the hospital, I told her how difficult it was for me to see a loved one suffer and not be able to do anything about it. Suffering from pain, she was a bit prickly. She said, in no uncertain terms, “It’s always about you!”

I thought about that, and realized that, of course, it’s about me. How else can I relate to what goes on around me? Everything in my life is about me. I look out at the world from me, the center. For good or ill, we each are the center of our own universe. We can demur all we want, and make an effort not to focus on ourselves or from ourselves, but it’s a lost cause. We are trapped within our mind and body, and we relate to the world from our perspectives. Yes, we are vain, and we are self-centered or centered on and from ourselves.

We can reach a useful balance. Selflessness is fine and should be practiced and understood. But when we are selfless, we are still in relation with ourselves—that’s who we are.

The moments when I have not focused on myself have been few. When I move away from self-centeredness, I find I am in contact with the Eternal. I am no longer an individual noodle, but find myself realizing I am part of a pot full of noodles. The result is a disappearance of rigidity—psychological, emotional, physical, mental rigidity. In my experience there is a blending from one with all, and all with the One. At these times I find I am not the center, and it’s not about me. It’s about what matters most. It’s about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit—the eternal community—and how I can share this with others.

Prayer for Peace
Ever-creating God, give us courage to let go of ourselves so we may grow closer to you. May we be at peace with who we are.

Spiritual Practice: Honoring the Worth of All Persons
Read Psalm 139:13–18. After each reading sit quietly and let the words sink deeply into your mind, heart, and body. Imagine God watching you grow in your mother’s womb. What thoughts and feelings do you have about being “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14)?

Sense the intimate knowledge God has of you and every child. Be aware of the sacred worth of each person. Weep with God over the soul-wounding forces and events that rob people of dignity and worth. How are you invited to notice, protect, heal, and affirm the spiritual identity of all God’s beloved people today? Pray for God’s compassion.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will not fear my spiritual, God-centered self.

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1 Comment

  1. Betty Williams

     /  16 April 2013

    I appreciate this reading and the struggle to let God be the center of my mind, body and soul but when we do we are truly content.

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