The wheel, for Gandhi, seemed to symbolize his need to "center" himself--his need to withdraw from public exposure and the limelight. The simple act of returning from his day to his humble dwelling, sitting Indian fashion on the floor, and spinning the wool from which his clothes were made brought proper gravity and peace to his world. The spinning wheel, it seems, restored Gandhi to his proper sense of proportion in his world. At the spinning wheel, the prince became the pauper and royalty became the common man. Pride deflated and peace increased. "The spinning wheel was always a reminder to Gandhi of who he was and what the practical things in life were all about. In engaging in this regular exercise, he was resisting all the forces of his public world that tried to distort who he knew himself to be." (from Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald).
Though Gandhi was by no means a Christian, he was on to something with his spinning wheel. Here is what I think he got right: We need to spend time doing some meaningful activity that brings us back to our humble origins--an activity that makes us think rightly about ourselves and our lives. For me, that activity is spending time with God in His Word. If I spend too much time away from His Word and too little time sitting at His feet, I become unbalanced and uncentered. I fall prey to my own pride and to the false promises of security in this world. These little distractions, these slight diversions, these momentary pleasures become the seductions that capture my soul--the soul that belongs to God. And I become uncentered. And like Gandhi, I need to return to my "spinning wheel" of scripture to restore balance to my life.
I wasn't made for this world and nothing in this world will satisfy me fully. I was made for God. I have given my life to Him. And to return myself to my proper un-inflated proportion, I must center myself by focusing on His Word. Only in doing this will I be able to see I'm really not "all that!" but that my Lord is EVERYTHING!
"For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others."