The image above is a shot I took walking home while stranded in the middle of Park Avenue at 41st Street waiting for the light to change.
You may remember taking art classes as a kid where you were taught to use perspective when drawing. You find the center point and build all of your lines off of that. (If you never had one of these classes, I suppose I just lost you).
Anyway, what made this particular shot so hard to take was there were a bunch of different spots that, at a quick glance could be misinterpreted as "center."
Below are two examples. You can see that after drawing a few lines that not all of them work. Even though some of the lines work, the red lines give it away. They simply can't pass through the center dot and fit the sight-lines on the other side.
"Center" for the image actually ended up being where it doesn't seem like it should be (see below) but it is nonetheless, the actual center.
This took time to find. It took intention. It took me setting aside where I needed to go for a second and to be willing to slow down, search, and find the center. If I hadn't, the photo would have come off looking rushed, crooked, and accidental.
FINDING YOUR CENTER
Like it or not, this photograph is a metaphor for our spiritual life. When we lose our "center" (our reason for being, our purpose, the thing in us that keeps us grounded) it's often due to hurry, distraction, and compulsion.
Blaise Pascal said,
"All men's miseries come from not being able to sit alone in a room and be still."
The longer I live I find this to be true. "Center" doesn't often ever seem like it's where it should be. You'd think it would be found in something external, even meaningful, like a career, a relationship, financial security, whetever- and yet the longer we live, we find that it's not.
"Center" is the spot inside that we only find in the quiet. In the stillness, where we set aside time and seek and find the Source within us. That's the only place its ever been, and the only place it will ever be.
"Center" is the spot in us where God lives-- calm, at peace, unchanging.