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“Seek first the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

–Matthew 6:33

On my recent vacation, I spent an afternoon kayaking. It was a perfect summer day to be on the water; warm, but not too humid and the lake was calm. The water was smooth as glass when I started out. The paddle cut through the water with ease and without much effort. After about an hour, the wind picked up, causing some turbulence of the water and paddling back to shore took more thought and effort.

While the wind was not so strong that there was a chance of the kayak tipping over, I did have to think more about staying centered in the kayak so that I would not drift too far off the course back to shore.

So often in life, especially in the uncertain days that we continue to navigate, things can go from calm and smooth to more turbulent in a matter of moments. That’s when it’s important to find and keep our center.

We all know what it’s like to feel off center or to have a day go from smooth to rough in a short period of time. In those times, we need to find our center again and our center is always God. When God is central to our living in the ways we speak and act, then we can be confident that we will always find our way back to center when we drift or get tossed off course.

God wants to be the center of our lives. In a recent article I was reading in the Christian Century magazine, pastor Peter W. Marty wrote, “There’s a reason why the tree of knowledge of good and evil is in the center or middle of the garden. There’s a reason why the Israelites made frequent pilgrimages to Jerusalem, where the temple was at the center. God has zero interest in being relegated to the outer edges of our lives.”

When our lives have a center that is God. When we seek God and the ways of God, which are love and welcome and compassion, we will always find our way back to the center when life or our living pushes us off center. May it be so for each of us!