Friday, August 26, 2011

A Balancing Act - to behave [as if one were] balanced

As promised, I am gathering some more thoughts on balance -

I used to think having my life in balance meant keeping in check all the things I needed to do on a daily basis. Even if one day seemed a bit out of whack, I could look back over my week or my month and see if it all appeared in order, in proportion, prioritized.

I would answer these questions in my mind: "Am I spending enough time in God's word? Did I spend too much time with friends? Is my job causing my life to be out of balance? Do I spend too much time reading, sleeping, eating?  Enough time with my son? Not enough time with my husband? Too little time in prayer? Not enough effort reaching out to my neighbors?  Not enough time serving in my church?" The list goes on and on...

Do these questions seem a bit...


While I would hesitate to call myself neurotic, I am getting anxious just looking at this stream of questions!  Oh, it's not that I am asking myself these questions out loud or that I even stop to ponder all of them all of the time.  But in those moments of feeling like I am failing in all the major areas of life, I begin to ask myself - what have I been doing, and how does it measure up to what I believe I should be doing?.

 That is my natural default mode - 
what have I been doing wrong?
what am I not doing right?
where have I failed?

Have you ever found yourself there - in a repetitive cycle of trying harder and doing more; then feeling guilty because your efforts to make things better or bring things into "balance" have failed?  It is exhausting isn't it?  I am convinced that balance is an illusion, an act.  It is only an appearance but not reality.  It is what the world sells us every day in a thousand different ways, but the joke is on us.  We fall for it...and then we's just not possible.

Did you catch that?  The good news? The very best news really...

"It's just not possible"

It is when I realize that all my striving and all my self-focused effort and obsession is not effective and not necessary, that I begin to rest.

When I am able to remove distractions, to do lists and busyness from the foreground of my life and replace it with the comfort and the assurance of all Jesus has done for me, I find true Rest. As I put down my task list for a moment, set aside my agenda and bask in the lavish love Jesus has secured for me, the desire for "balance" in my life fades.  I find Rest for my weary soul.

"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

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