The spiritual center of gravity
Johan Oscar Smith
Where is your center of gravity?
It is an established fact that a smaller magnet is attracted to a larger one. The earth’s magnetic field causes the compass needle to point north/south. In calm weather, a large iceberg will attract a nearby ship. In these cases, the center of gravity lies within the larger magnet, the earth and the iceberg, and that is why the lighter object must yield to the heavier. Likewise, the bodies of the solar system are controlled by gravitational forces in such a way that the lighter bodies are bound to follow the heavier ones in their orbits.
Whatever a person treasures becomes their spiritual center of gravity. Their heart will be drawn toward their treasure. When your treasure is outside of yourself, you revolve around it. However, if your treasure is within, you will never be shaken by external factors. You will be content regardless of your lot in life, be it need, poverty, tribulation or abundance.
Involuntarily drawn to the outward
A miserly person has his center of gravity outside of himself, in his money. Since his center of gravity is subject to constant changes and fluctuations, he must bravely follow along on all its ups and downs. His only thought is to gather to himself. If it were physically possible, he would literally store his treasure in his heart. Everything that he does is motivated by his desire for money, money and even more money.
The center of gravity for vain people is fashion. When fashion changes, they follow. They love everything that is stylish, and they are disgusted by anything that is unfashionable, plain or simple. All of the magnetic forces point in the direction of vanity.
It is the same with the glutton, the drunkard, the self-indulgent and the adulterer. Their center of gravity is outside of themselves, and they are involuntarily drawn toward it—outward. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21.
Wisdom—an internal center
Wisdom is a treasure, a center of gravity, a magnetic pole, which draws to itself. Christ is the wisdom of God, and He draws everyone to Himself. Every person has experienced His drawing power. The greedy, the haughty, the gluttonous, the drunkard, the vainly ambitious, and the adulterer have all experienced wisdom’s gravitational force drawing them, in an attempt to free them from the gravitational force that binds them—the law of sin and death. Those who believe and allow themselves to be freed, receive wisdom as their center of gravity, to which they become bound—bound by law to Christ.
Those who love wisdom will reduce the demands on their time and purify themselves. Wisdom is gained in our times of quietness, and through chastening we become wise. When the law of gravity has entered the heart’s innermost recesses, we are freed from all the centers of gravity that lie outside of ourselves. In this way our heart is circumcised, and we become more stable.
As a result, our value to both God and people increases. Through our longing for wisdom, the potential in our heart is given free rein in every area. Christ, the wisdom of God, dwells in our hearts through faith. The center of gravity is no longer outside of us, but rather inside. Because Solomon chose wisdom, he received both riches and a long life. Sirach says that all good things come to him who obtains wisdom. This is true, of course, since all things are created by and for wisdom. Everything revolves around wisdom. By it rulers reign, and by it all of Christ’s enemies become His footstool. If you also want to share all the glories that accompany wisdom, then make wisdom the center of gravity in your life.
All scurrying around in pursuit of gain is unbelief; then the center of gravity is outside of oneself. At wisdom’s center of gravity there is no anxiety at all. There it is completely still and peaceful. But the further we move away from wisdom, the more anxiety, unrest and commotion intensify.
Your centrum gravitatis
Every ship possesses a specific spot called the centrum gravitatis (center of flotation). In spite of the pitching and rolling of the ship, this point remains stable. If you want to avoid getting seasick, move as close to that point as possible. Though it follows the course of the ship through the sea, that point does not move in relation to the ship.
This is also the case in the spiritual realm. If you want to avoid being tossed about and suffering affliction in body and mind, then seek the center, where you can find God’s rest. This center is within yourself, in union with Christ Jesus. In the circumstances of life, we are like ships that are tossed to and fro by the waves. One moment we are lifted up, the next we are sent crashing down. Yet centrum gravitatis remains sure and steady, though the rest of the ship lists and rolls in the heavy swells.
The point where all energy converges must be the same point from which energy emanates and then returns. So there is an immovable point of power that holds everything together in its invisible grasp. In the same way, wisdom holds everything in its invisible hand. However, the further away you are from wisdom, the more numerous are the disappointments, annoyances, insults and other unpleasant things. In the center they cease to exist.
What a glorious center: God’s wisdom and power! Blessed are all those who come to the rest found in this law of gravity, where each one has all of his fountains in Him. Everything will be added unto them.
Our center of gravity is to be the same as Christ’s. This is rest, in the very deepest sense of the word.
Where is your center of gravity? Where does the compass of your heart point?
This is an edited version of the article “The Spiritual Center of Gravity,” which was originally published in Norwegian in BCC’s periodical “Hidden Treasures” in 1924.
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This post is also available in: Norwegian Bokmål
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