I've been using the word "balance" for years. But I'm not sure the concept of balance actually works.
I've got to learn how to balance my work, social, and ministry lives.
I'm off-balance and had to pull out of that activity.
What we need is a more balanced approach.
Recently my friend Mary Byers shared this quote:
"Forget the idea of balancing work and family. Think of "integrating" instead, making everything and everyone an important part of a holistic life."
Let's take the example of Jesus, for instance. I can't say He was your average well-balanced individual. He made fresh wine for people who already had enough alcohol. He miraculously created food for huge, untenable groups of people who were hungry. He healed those he chose to heal, then ducked into anonymity to protect himself. He withdrew to mountaintops for prayer when needed. He said "he had food to eat you know nothing about" and skipped meals. But that was nothing compared to his 40-day temptation in the wilderness where he ate nary a morsel. He wept at the death of His friend Lazarus. And he stayed up all night sweating drops of blood before His impeding crucifixion. He told truth in subversive stories many didn't understand and ate with those the prevailing religious culture deemed "most unacceptable."
He wasn't balanced. But He was full of the rhythms of grace. "I have come that you might have life, and that you might have it to the full," he said. He was fully present in every moment and ready for what each situation required. His integrated life reeked of wholeness and holiness, the gift of His presence and the withdrawal from activity when needed. He was fully integrated.
In the quiet moments, isn't this what our hearts truly long for? In my prayer times, I sensed God was giving me the word ENJOY for 2011. My life is made up of a thousand different pieces, and my usual course is to run around frantically, to procrastinate, to obsess, and to stay on the treadmill. Instead, I am trying to rejoice in the Lord in every activity (Philippians 4:4).
I enjoy the food he provides me at breakfast. I delight in a client Skype meeting, the stringing together of words for a project, the simple joy of baking gluten-free scones that will nourish my body and encourage others. I stay in the moment, lingering, until the next activity or person calls me on. No day is perfectly integrated, but with God's help, I am moving more gracefully, responding more holistically. I am enjoying the abundant life He designed me for.
Are you trying to integrate your life? What obstacles--and joys--do you face?