I like routine.
But life happens.
And life is seldom routine.
No matter what stage of life you find yourself in, there is always a need for balance.
Some days I just feel like I am shuffling neglect.
Choosing one thing over another means that something is put on hold–hopefully not to the detriment of my faith, my family or my future. The truth of the matter is, I find myself allowing the whirlwind to frustrate me and even get me down. But God.
I know that we are all given the same number of hours in a day, and I was reminded this week of the Ecclesiastes passage:
There is an occasion for everything,
and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to uproot;
a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to tear down and a time to build;
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;
a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing;
a time to search and a time to count as lost;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
Life is full of choices. How we spend our time doing one thing will affect another. Since we cannot physically be in two places at one time, we must choose, even when our mind and our heart might be focused on something that is completely different.
Like the past.
Part of finding balance is letting go of what you left behind. If I am moving forward, those things that I dwell on from the past can restrain me and make it very difficult to get where I am going.
Or carrying a burden.
Extra weight will throw you off-balance faster than you can say “woah!” If you are walking a tightrope, you would never want to add weight to your load, but if you had to, you would want to be sure that you are centered over that burden before taking the first step.
So how do we stay centered? By staying focused on the task right in front of us.
Staying focused on our present task is crucial to balance.
Letting my mind wander or distract me from the present will only serve to frustrate. When I struggle to keep focused, I see that as a warning sign that I need to stop and re-evaluate. Am I choosing the right activity/plan? Is it in my best interest or the best interest of those around me to choose this path? Is God directing my steps or am I forging ahead without His guidance?
Sometimes we need to be reminded to look ahead–to plan and to prepare for the next steps; but more often than not, we simply need to stop and take a look at where we are, where we are going, and take one step at a time.
- Define your absolutes for this day. What can I do in my waking hours to be sure that I will have no regrets when I lay my head on my pillow at night? is there something that is calling my name–or is it Someone?
“Lord, you have searched me and known me. You know when I sit down and when I stand up;
you understand my thoughts from far away. You observe my travels and my rest; you are aware of all my ways.” Psalm 139:1-2
2. Ask God to lead the way in your day-to-day activity. Don’t think you can put Him on the sidelines to watch as you wobble along–if you do, you will certainly set yourself up for failure. When I chose this verse from Isaiah to memorize, I knew it was because I needed to constantly remind myself to bring my focus back on Him and His desires for the time He has given me.
This has proven to be a verse that gives me the balance I need when I am teeter-tottering on the edge; but it also helps me when I’m headed in the right direction, but need to be reminded to keep my eyes focused on the right things.
Trying to find the right balance in life can be a daunting task if we tackle it alone.
3. Stay in The Word. Saturate your day with prayer before, during, and after you read His Word.
4. Step out in faith, trusting that this all-knowing God is capable of leading you. Remind yourself often that He is also the One who will hold your hand.
Walking through the halls of a nursing home this week, the Lord reminded me that “routine” I crave will come soon enough for all of us, if we live long enough… so what my heart seems to really long for is more than a life of ease or a life that fits nicely into a mold.
We were created for more than that.
Life is an adventure, and stepping out onto a tightrope might seem like a daunting task. It just might be that the Lord is asking you to trust Him even more. Maybe you’ve let go of His hand as He tried to lead you and He is reaching out to give you another chance to grow closer to Him.
All I know is, He is bigger than our plans.
His ways are eternal, and
if we are careful to keep our focus on Him, we might just get a glimpse of what He’s doing.
Ours is not a passive God. He is always working, always loving, always pursuing.
Even in the routine moments when we are wishing for something more.
If you’re looking for balance, you might want to be careful what you wish for!