A ballet teacher gave me a life lesson, in her wise, old-world way, when she insisted that if I kept my eye on a focal point while on stage, whether doing turns, leaps, or intricate footwork, I would never become disoriented or dizzy, nor would I fall. She said it with unmistakable authority, and I understood, even as a young girl, that the application of this rule went beyond the world of dance.
It never failed me in dance, but like most, I had to seek out and settle on a focal point for living.
That took more trial and error, and some experience. Sunday School education and loving parents gave me a head start, but not one of us is free from the need to navigate through the extemporaneous dance of human life.
In order to endure the crashing and sometimes crushing waves of pressure on human relations, faithfulness to something more reliable than even a very good person is essential.
As I moved through friendships, dating, family relations, marriage, and parenting, I found the unchanging focal point of a practical relation with God to be steadying and effective. With every dip, plunge, step, and leap, staying God-oriented has helped me maintain a certain balance and peace.
That doesn't mean there haven't been tests and missteps, but the constant presence of a divine compass is invaluable. "God is at once the centre and circumference of being," wrote Mary Baker Eddy, founder of this newspaper and author of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (pp. 203-204).
I've been seeing that while fidelity usually brings to mind faithfulness to another person, at its core is faithfulness itself. Its origin is God.