Saturday, June 14, 2008

Changing Life Maps

(Rough thoughts for tomorrow morning's Contemplative Service)

I grew up with a world map that looked roughly like this:

Running vertically down the middle of the page was the Prime Meridian. This had the effect of putting Great Britain just slightly above center in the map. when I moved to the U.S. however world maps changed:

Suddenly the U.S. is central whilst Great Britain is relegated over to the right hand side and Russia is truncated by the edge of the map.

In the Ancient world, many maps looked different again:

For the Ancients - Jerusalem, the Holy City, Mount Zion was right at the center of the map.

Psalm 48 says:

"The Lord is great and worthy to be praised in the city of our God. His holy mountain rises in beauty, the joy of the earth.

Mount Zion, true pole of the earth, the Great King's city. God, in the midst of the Citadels, has shown himself its stronghold."

For the Psalmist the center of the world - was Mount Zion, the presence of God. God was the 'pole' around which the world revolved.

If I was to draw a 'map of my life' I know what I'd like to see at the center, but honesty would compel me to tell a different story. God is 'central' to my life, but there are many other 'centers' that pull for my attention. I worship, preach and pray God for much of my week, but then there are sometimes when my 'axis' is tilted and I begin to revolve around other things.

I have a large 'island' called 'Worst Case Scenario' that frequently pushes God out of the center spot. I can be a 'worrywart' and a 'stress monkey'. Another contender for center space is a little wasteland called 'What do they think of me?' It's a landmass that can consume way too much of my waking hours if I let it. A desert that I'm learning to visit a lot less as I grow older, but one that I still take vacations to is called 'Guilt is good for me'.

If you were to draw a map of your life right now - what places would be there? What would be central? Offer a map of yourself that is drawn as honestly as you can to God in prayer.

1 comment:

Memzie Latham said...

Very good words, Petah. Wonderfully spoken and full of meaning.