“We build on foundations we did not lay.
We warm ourselves at fires we did not light.
We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
We drink from wells we did not dig.
We profit from persons we did not know.
We are ever bound in community."

Rev. Peter Raible (paraphrased from Deuteronomy 6:10-12)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Day 6 of Spiritual Practices and Spiritual Reflection: What's at the Center of Your Life?

This is a question I ask myself again and again, on a regular basis: "What's at the center of my life? Does it belong there? Is it worthy of my ultimate loyalty? Have I put the wrong things at the center of my life?"

For me, this is a "God," question, it's a "what are my priorities?" question, and it's a question about idols. Wikipedia defines idol as "an image or other material object representing a deity to which religious worship is addressed or any person or thing regarded with blind admiration, adoration, or devotion.Take a second to read that again. Money, alcohol (any addiction), the internet, ego, self, a job, anger, a title, an expectation, just plain busyness - these can all become idols, they can all land in the center of our lives with remarkable ease. And they don't really belong there - they're not worthy of the best of who we are or can be.

So I'm curious, what's at the center of your life? What have you put there? Does it belong there? Is it worthy of your deepest loyalty?

I've had all sorts of crazy things at the center of my life over the years and it's only by continually asking this question that I can begin to put the right things into the center of my life - things like awe, wonder, God/the Holy, Love, spiritual practice, gratitude, and family. Those are the things worthy of my ultimate loyalty.

What's at the center of your life? What doesn't belong there? What would you like to add?


Arif Mamdani said...

This is a great question, and as I sat here meditating on the question, it led me to another question: how do I "know" what's at the center of my life?

Is it the amount of time I spend doing something?

Is it the energy and intention that I put into something?

Does my mind decide what's at the center, or are my actions more telling?

Justin Schroeder said...


Great questions. I suspect it's different for everyone, but in regards to your last questions, it's more about actions for me.

I also think a key part of this is having a trusted person who can listen and talk with you about your life...who can help you "interrupt" your life in new and different ways...as these questions are addressed and unpacked.

- Justin