Friday, December 17, 2010

Commentary: Christ our Pivot

Christ our Pivot

This week we will study what balance is and how it is achieved.  Following are the definitions of balance: stability produced by even distribution of weight on each side of the vertical axis.  As a noun it means, a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight, amount, etc. As a verb (used with object) it means to bring to or hold in equilibrium; poise. And, as a verb (used without object) it means to have an equality or equivalence in weight, parts, etc.; be in equilibrium. 

The key to create balance is to find the objects center of gravity (CG).   This is the place form where if the object is suspended or supported then its weight will be evenly distributed so it will not tilt and fall.  Because, the uneven object will weigh more on one side than the other, the side that weighs more will be affected more by gravity's pull and fall.  For An object with uniform weight distribution the center of gravity is in the center or middle.  But, if an object does not have a uniform weight distribution then the center of gravity will be closer to where most of the weight is located.  For example, the center of gravity for a hammer is located close to the head.  If we are talking about a person, the center of gravity may or may not be the waist area. 

You can find the center of gravity of an object by suspending the object or supporting it.  When you support the object the center of gravity also has to be your pivotal point.   An object will balance on a pivot point when the CG is exactly above or below that pivot point.  If the pivot is below the CG then the balance is unstable; any slight rotation causes the object to tip and fall off the pivot.  If the pivot is above the CG then the balance is stable and a slight rotation makes the object just swing back and forth. 

There is an implication that has not been mentioned: whatever is holding the object in place (the pivot) is bearing all the weight.  This has implications not only for objects but for dancers, gymnasts, tumblers, etc.  Dancer one must hold dancers two's body in the right spot.  Dancer one must be able to bear dancer two's weight, even when dancer 1 is holding dancer two in a small area of the body. 

Does this have spiritual implications?  Yes, it does.  If we are to find balance in life, we must let Christ be our pivot.  This means we must let him hold us from our spiritual center of gravity.  Where He holds us, now becomes our new pivotal point.  This may not feel comfortable to us. In fact this point may not be by our spiritual waist.  You need to trust that wherever He holds you, is your center of gravity.  But, in time we will be amazed of how much freedom it gives us.  We can "rotate" or "rock side to side or back and forth" without falling.  Yes, you are limited in a sense: you have this freedom – and graceful movements - as long as you remain supported by Christ.  No other pivot support can give you that grace and freedom.  All of this means, of course, that Christ bears all our spiritual weight. 

How does this tie in to our lesson?  In Thursday lesson the author pointed out and asked, "We need to recount and remember God's dealing with us in the past. But at the same time, we need to be careful about dwelling on what happened in the past, at the expense of living correctly in the present. How do we strike a right balance here? How can dwelling too much on the past negatively influence our walk with the Lord today?"  Similar questions have been asked about faith and works: how do we balance them.  The answer to both questions is the same.  You put all your spiritual weight on Christ and allow Him to support you by your spiritual center of gravity.   Then you will discover the perfect balance between faith and works (that in fact faith yields works) and you will discover the perfect balance between "the need to recount and remember God's dealing with us in the past" without having to worry about being stuck in the past and not living the present. 

Can Christ support us?  Can He bear all our spiritual weight?  The Bible says so.  We read in Isaiah that God has laid on Jesus the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53: 6).   Just a few verses down Isaiah wrote that Christ will justify many, "for he shall bear their iniquities" (Isaiah 53: 11).   It is no wonder that Christ called Himself, quoting David, the "chief cornerstone" (Psalms 118: 22-23; Matthew 21: 42 – 43).  Isaiah and Paul also call Christ by this name (Isaiah 28:16; Ephesians 2:20). 

In ancient times the cornerstone was the stone at the corner of two walls that united them. The Cornerstone was the place where the building was joined and also the place where it rested.  It was the visible corner of the foundation of the building and the starting point of all future building above the foundation. It was the most costly stone because of its beauty and strength. It was also the largest, most solid and carefully constructed stone.  To cast aside the cornerstone would be to resist any future building on that foundation. 

To cast aside Jesus as your chief cornerstone or spiritual weight bearer (pivot) means not having balance.  You carry the weight yourself and add even more to your burden.  Which also means you find no rest (Matthew 11: 28 -30).  The final question is: will you trust the Lord to be you pivot?  To bear your spiritual weight?