For many years, I was a straight A student. While the fact that I was a conscientious student was good in many ways (and also reflected to some degree the gifts that God had given me), as I reflect back on this fact as an adult now, I realize that not all was always well with this state of being.
While it is certainly true that I experienced much joy engaging in the learning process for all those years (and I still do!), for too many years, I found my center of identity in my achievements. As a result, I overlooked other aspects of my life and relationships at times, and I also found that important aspects of myself remained underdeveloped.
I first began to clue into the fact that achievement was the center of my identity in college when I found that I couldn’t quite succeed in college in the ways I was used to doing previously. I did well enough, but I struggled a lot more than I ever had, and I definitely wasn’t at the top my class. Consequently, I was left in a state of confusion and angst, and I was left with the following questions, “Who am I really? What is my life about?” – questions I have been wrestling with ever since.
These are profound questions and in fact, ones that we should all be asking ourselves from time to time. My friends over at Gravity Leadership frame these questions in a slightly different way. They ask, “What is our center of gravity? Where does our identity lie?”. Just as the planets in our solar system appear to find their center of gravity in the sun and thus revolve around it, we also have a center of gravity, around which our lives revolve, whether we consciously know it or not. This center or these centers (for there may be more than one) help form our identities, and then our behaviors flow from there.
So where is our center? Where does our main identity lie? Does it rest in Jesus or can it be found elsewhere?
As sojourners of the Way, we might be tempted to say without a second thought that Jesus is our center, and while this may indeed be true, I think it is important to challenge ourselves from time to time and honestly ask if this is true. There may be other things in our lives that are competing for the center.
Read below to dig deeper.
- Living Our Lives From the Wrong Center
- Re-centering Our Lives
- Questions to Help You Identify Your Center
Page Written by Kristen Yates