For many Presbyterians, Montreat is a sacred space, hallowed
ground, a place where one feels close to God.
Climbing the mountain known as Lookout in the early morning hours, to
watch the sunrise from the peak, is a ritual that many youth groups and others
For many years, I have been an avid reader of the novels of
Tony Hillerman.  They are set in Indian
Country, the great reservations and pueblos of the Southwest.
The Navajo people defines their place on earth by four
sacred mountains, which form the four corners of their realm.  As I have read Hillerman’s novels, I have
become acquainted with the fact that the Navajo people begin each day with
prayer.  They greet the sunrise with
prayer.  They scatter a little corn
pollen as an offering, and pray for harmony and beauty in their lives.
Their concept of harmony, or balance in life has come to
have great meaning to me. We need harmony, we need balance in our lives.  
I thought about this particularly on my recent “road trip”
with my son.  We went in his Ford pickup.  He drove, I rode “shotgun” and occasionally
navigated.  There was one wheel on the
truck that was slightly out of balance.
At first, it didn’t bother me very much.
But as the miles and hours passed, it became more and more irritating.
If I tried to sleep, it seemed like the vibration was bouncing my head off the
headrest.  Just a little vibration.  Just one wheel out of four out of
It was annoying, irritating, and I expect that if it got
worse, it could damage a hub or an axle.

How do we find balance in our lives?  Nutritionists tell us to eat a balanced diet.
We are told to balance our work with leisure time, with rest and
recreation.  But for many folks, there is
still something missing, something out of balance.
I think it is the spiritual.
The daily prayer and Bible reading of past generations has become an
anomaly rather than the norm.  We may
sing hymns like “Just a Closer Walk With Thee”, “O Master Let Me Walk With
Thee”, “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”.
But do we?  Do we daily try to
walk where Jesus would walk if He was with us?
Do we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness?  
What difference would it make in how we live, how we feel,
how we relate to others, if we did begin each day with prayer, asking God for
harmony and balance in the day?