back to Mainly for Beginners
It doesn't make a lot of sense to say, "If I were to do it all again I would" (this or that) because I would be speaking from my present experience--something I wouldn't have if I were truly beginning again. But I think you know what I mean. If I were to begin my life as a Christian again I would make the centre of it a Person--God himself.
That's not as simple as it sounds though I'm sure it's the right thing to do. Strange as it might sound, the centre of the Bible is not the Bible but the God of the Bible. The central subject in the Bible is God himself. It isn't all the interesting people and events and stories we read in the Bible. It isn't even the purpose of God that takes the central place in scriptureno, the centre is the God who has a purpose. The heart of the Bible is a Person!
Of course we can't get to know the God of the Bible without learning "things about him" but it's definitely the God of the Hebrew--Christian scriptures that we want to get to know. The word "God" means so many things in the world today but it's "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" we want and we won't settle for some other.
To make God, who is "personal," the centre is not only what he calls us to do, it is absolutely essential to our self-understanding and growth as humans. We can't pray to "the force" or "the stars" or "the ground of being". We can't "worship" creation itself (however much we love trees and the lovely things of nature) and we desperately need to believe in someone higher than ourselves. "Worshipping" health, fitness, education, intellect, acclaim, beauty, wealth or power isn't enough for us.
For all kinds of reasons the poet was right:
"When earth's lights are fading and stricken men call
To say less than 'God' is to say nothing at all
Life's ultimate hour calls for ultimate power
Only God's enough."
So If I were beginning again I'd focus on God himself.