Tethered

February 7, 2018 | by: Sharon Bruce | 0 Comments

A few weeks ago I was listening to a podcast called How the Globe of Death Works. You’ve probably seen one at a circus or on TV: a steel mesh globe encasing a small group of courageous (if perhaps insane) stunt motorcyclists narrowly missing each other as they race inside, each strictly adhering to an assigned orbital path. One of the principal reasons the stunt works is centripetal force. You have experienced this force yourself: it’s the pull you feel when the car you are riding in quickly turns a corner. You would swear you are being pulled away from the center of rotation. In truth, the opposite is happening: you are drawn toward the center.

I remember my high school physics teacher demonstrating centripetal force with a bucket of water and a rope. He would swing the bucket carefully like a pendulum, working up the momentum to complete a circle. If he didn’t get it into rotation fast enough, the bucket would wobble, spilling its contents. If he succeeded though, the water would remain inside, even as the bucket passed overhead upside down. At each moment the water wants to fly away, tangent to the circular orbit, but the force acting on the bucket, pulling it toward the center holds it fast, perpetually catching it.

For well over a year now I’ve been like the water in that bucket, feeling as if I’m on the verge of coming untethered and flying apart into a mist. My fluid mind turns from calm to turbulent without much warning or logic. I easily fall asleep at night with a quiet mind, then awaken to a predawn blackness full of dread. Condemnation crouches in the dark next to me telling me I’m not saved, that I will indeed get what I deserve, that I didn’t do enough to beat my bent thoughts back. Sometimes Condemnation passes the baton to Doubt who sits near my pillow, shows me the darkness and tells me that I am not condemned, not because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, but because there is nothing.

Nothing.

I’m pulled out into space, into the dark, away from the center.

But then I go to church on any given Sunday morning and sit among strangers and friends listening to the sermon. This is the bucket that contains me, and He pulls me in from the center. I’m held. I need this place. I need these people. We need each other. God knows what he is doing. Truly, we are not meant to be alone.

Psalm 139:5-6:
You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

1 Corinthians 12:21:
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”  

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Sharon Bruce, a current CG leader at Restoration, traded her childhood desert mountains for beaches and green. Her lush backyard garden plants display a marked respect for her Bachelor of Science in Horticulture. Sharon’s love for God and compassion for His creation shout loudest in her artwork, in her caring friendship, and in her willingness to gently re-home a slimy frog from a friend’s front porch Bromeliad to the river three miles away.

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