I’m not even sure what to call “it.” It is intangible and subtle but very real. We know it when we feel it but rarely find it by intentionally pursuing it. Perhaps it is a byproduct of having everything else in our existence properly aligned. Then again, maybe when we find it, and remain in it, everything else in our existence falls into place. I’m not sure exactly how it works.

          The “it” I am trying to talk about is our spiritual center-the core of who we were designed to be and can’t quite seem to become on human power alone. Some refer to it as “balance.” That’s OK but I prefer to visualize it as our center. Balance, in my mind at least, conjures up images of my soul holding massive amounts of tension in some sort of motionless equilibrium. Peace, rest, and quiet may appear on the surface but one false move and all of that tension I’ve been holding in limbo comes crashing down around us. I don’t like the metaphor of balance.

          I prefer center. My mind immediately goes to the image of Jesus calmly sleeping in the center of the storm. No human talent, ability, or ingenuity required. Just child-like trust. Trust in the God who promises to have everything under his control.

          How can I find the center? And once I’ve found it, how can I remain there? These questions have challenged God’s people for generations. Comprehending the “correct” answer is easy because it is so simple. Teaching a class or preaching a sermon (or writing an article) about the key to the spiritual center is easy. Living the solution every day of my life, however, now that is a real challenge. Telling others to trust God is easy; quieting my own anxiety and resting in my own spiritual center is elusive.

          Henri J. M. Nouwen wrote a little book, The Way of the Heart. In it he says that the key to finding our center is consistently practicing the spiritual disciplines of solitude, silence, and prayer. The book is short-you can read it in less than an hour-but powerfully insightful.

          The center we seek is not a place in which we are holding the weight of our lives in some precarious balance. The center of our existence is contently resting within the heart of God.