Karl Wallenda took his craft into adulthood and founded the famous troupe, the Flying Wallendas. Performing through his 60s, his name became synonymous with highwire performance. Having acquired it in his youth, Wallenda never abandoned what he discovered to be the inviolable key to the mastery of balance: find the center.
Finding the center shifts focus from the periphery to the core, enabling us to concentrate on the essential. For me, that is best accomplished by retracing all of the roads down which I have followed Him, assimilating the weight of every bend. It is observing His infiltration of my decisions, right, wrong and more wrong. It is reliving the “aha” moment of following Him, when I finally grasped that following was not leading.
Finding the center in my music happened the moment I understood that this opportunity was a bestowal to be cherished and highly regarded. This was not my platform, but it was my charge. I was its guardian.
After Jesus taught at Capernaum, many disciples turned from following Him. He inquired of the 12 who remained whether they, too, would walk away. Simon Peter uttered his famous rationale which still sets hearts in pursuit of Christ, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” With bull’s-eye precision, Peter had found the center.
Job had not denounced his faith or become enamored with his wealth; yet, without explanation, he witnessed the methodical divestment of everything that mattered to him. He revisited what he knew, asked a lot of questions, and eventually concluded, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him.” Job’s time in the wilderness only sharpened his grasp of the center.
Joseph found his center early on. Rather than abandon the faith of his murderous brothers, he remained secure in the knowledge that God had orchestrated the events of his life purposefully, and that He would use him to save the lives of many people. He focused not on the periphery or the circumstances, but he held fast to the fact that God was involved and that He was trustworthy. God had moved the pawns of man and the hearts of kings for such a time as this.
I received an email from a lady asking for prayer for her 27-year-old daughter who was battling cancer. She said that she was writing everyone she knew and everyone she didn’t know, requesting prayer. I wrote her back and I kept her note, hoping to hear good news. About two weeks later, not hearing from her, I sent an email asking about her daughter. She was in a lot of pain, she replied, and the doctors were still unable to locate the source of the cancer. Two more weeks passed and I emailed again. She responded, “I’ve been meaning to write and tell you that my baby girl died on January 24th. We celebrated her daughter’s first birthday today. Life sure is hard.”
When life is hard — that hard — we must find the center. We must be able to say with Job, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him,” to say with Joseph, “God sent me here to preserve a remnant on earth.” We must find that place in our hearts, that centerpiece that settles every question with Peter’s question: “Lord, to whom shall we go, but You?”