The Centrality of Christ
by: Mike Stokes
It is critical that Christ be central in our lives. This really comes into play when we face a dilemma. Dilemmas force us to consider the importance and priority of Christ in our life. It would be great if making decisions become easier with age; the more grey we become, the more black and white issues become; the more our vision blurred, the clearer we could distinguish between right and wrong. However, life is not like that, we do get older, but decisions don’t get easier. In fact, situations gets more muddled and ill-defined. Dilemmas are like that; complicated, fuzzy, head scratching predicaments. They are not resolved by simply saying, this is right and that is wrong kind of approach. Why? Because there are always advantages and disadvantages to both sides of a dilemma. No matter which side you choose, you loose something. Dilemmas can put us between a rock and a hard place.
One of the ways we grow in faith is through the inevitable conflicts of life. In the matter of dilemmas we need to muster all the wisdom we can from our experiences, keep our commitment to Christ strong, black and white, and well defined. Usually when we list our priorities, we begin with God at the top, marriage, family, work and so on, in order of importance. As helpful as this list is, I think it has a practical flaw. Our priorities should reflect a desire to put God above all, and that we put him first in everything, something like this: God, God in my marriage, God in my family, God in my work, God in my…. I wonder if the first priority list inadvertently lead many to view their relationship with God as separate. He should take priority in every thought, word, relationship, everything – period.
As we launch into a new year we can have an inner confidence guiding us into the unknown. As poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox put it in her poem entitled, The Winds of Fate, “One ship drives east and another drives west with the selfsame winds that blow. Tis the set of the sails, and not the gales, that tells us the way to go.” Whatever is ahead we can be totally confident that God is guiding us, if our “sails are set,” he is out ahead arranging and rearranging the storms of our life. The second stanza of Ella Wilcox’s poem goes like this, “Like the winds of the sea are the ways of fate; as we voyage along through life, Tis the set of the soul that decides it’s goal, and not the calm or the strife.” as we launch out into the calm and strife day by day, we can set the course of our soul according to the guiding principle the Apostle Paul followed, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain “ (Philippians 1:21). The secret of knowing how to choose in dilemmas of life is found in, the centrality of Christ.