My word for last year was balance. Being that it is more than halfway through a new year, I ought to share my new word, but I feel the need to share my journey of balance before moving on.
I found that a perfectly balanced life is probably not possible. It’s a nice idea, and at times something to strive for. But, I suspect the striving for balance might only come at times when things are wildly unbalanced. In looking at the world God created, and finding God’s fingerprints in the world around me, I see a different term that fits better: seasons.
God made seasons. Flowers bloom overnight and fade in a few days. Others last the whole summer.
A bird built a nest on our front porch and then sat on her eggs for weeks, moving only when we got too close for her comfort.
Rather than striving for a perfectly balanced life where everything is in order, striving to embrace various seasons is a better way to walk through this life. There are seasons of growing, producing, harvesting and resting. And even as a farmer’s seasons are interrupted by rain or drought or equipment failures, so are the seasons of our life.
But what I found most interesting about balance was something I wasn’t expecting. I found myself wading into another pool, one less about balance as time management and more of a balance of thinking and doing.
How do I care for children who have needs without neglecting my own kids and leaving them in need?
Do I spend money to afford organic food that is likely better for my family, or do I eat what’s more readily available and have money to help those who are dying because they have no food at all?
How to I justify my desire to help the world when I don’t even know the names of neighbors who live right across the street?
How to I challenge myself to change for the better while accepting myself for who I am right now?
And I find myself thinking, “Well, I just need to find the balance between the extremes.”
But that lands me in the middle, and isn’t that just being mediocre? Isn’t staying in the middle the wimpy way out because I’m too scared to move out of my comfort zone?
And so the endless questions continue, and they lead to the only answer I can find: seeking God. It keeps coming back to the forefront of everything in life. I’ve written so many things that really deal with just seeking God and following where He leads. It will be less about balancing some impossible teeter totter, and more about following God’s direction for my life. It might mean parking in the middle of the road for a while and then detouring on a rocky path at another time. The point will be seeking God. And that might be the best lesson in balance you can find.