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How Good to Center Down!

Today’s post is from the writings of Howard Thurman

How good it is to center down!

To sit quietly and see one’s self pass by!

The streets of our minds seethe with endless traffic;

Our spirits resound with clashing, with noisy silences,

While something deep within hungers and thirsts for the still moment and the resting lull.

With full intensity we seek, ere thicket passes, a fresh sense of order in our living;

A direction, a strong sure purpose that will structure our confusion and bring meaning in our chaos.

We look at ourselves in this waiting moment—the kinds of people we are.

The questions persist: what are we doing with our lives?—what are the motives that order our days?

What is the end of our doings? Where are we trying to go? Where do we put the emphasis and where are our values focused? For what end do we make sacrifices?

Where is my treasure and what do I love most in life?

What do I hate most in life and to what am I true? Over and over the questions beat upon the waiting moment.

As we listen, floating up through all of the jangling echoes of our turbulence, there is a sound of another kind—

A deeper note which only the stillness of the heart makes clear.

It moves directly to the core of our being. Our questions are answered,

Our spirits refreshed, and we move back into the traffic of our daily round

With the peace of the Eternal in our step.

How good it is to center down!


Howard Washington Thurman was an African-American author, philosopher, theologian, educator, civil rights leader, and mentor to Martin Luther King Jr. This prayer comes from his book, Meditations of the Heart, p.28.

 

Shalem is currently offering on online Howard Thurman Retreat Day. Through audio teaching, guided meditation, reflection questions and invitations into silence, Lerita Coleman Brown invites you into intentional quiet space to reflect on the life and work of Howard Thurman, spiritual guide to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sign up here!

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