Believe it or not back in the day I competed in gymnastics. I even have a few medals to prove it! I’d like to think I was pretty good, especially on bars. But I wasn’t ever that great on the balance beam. In fact, it was my worst event! Surprisingly, I managed to score well enough in the other 3 events to earn medals at almost every meet. Even though I never excelled at the balance beam, my skills gradually improved as I worked hard and practiced. Eventually, I progressed to a level that required me to make gymnastics a bigger priority in my life. I had to decide if it was important enough for me to sacrifice things like my free time and social life. I may not have been on track to be an Olympian, but I possibly could’ve earned a college scholarship. Regardless, at that moment, I had to decide what was important to me, prioritize those things, and bring balance to my life.
A couple of analogies here:
-Life is a balancing act and some of us are better at it than others.
-God allows us to choose how we balance our lives.
We all have to decide what is important to us and how to prioritize those things. As we understand what God says is important, it becomes easier to decide how to prioritize our lives!
Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”
Once we understand that God is the most important thing in our lives and loving others is second, then balancing all the other “stuff” is more manageable. Just like balancing on a 4 inch beam can be difficult, balancing our lives can be also, and when our lives are out of balance….we know it. Sometimes it’s even obvious to others around us. When we are over-weight, over-worked, over-tired, or over-stressed it’s because something in our lives is out of balance. If we are over-weight it’s because our diet and exercise are not balanced or because the chemicals in our bodies aren’t. If we are over-worked it’s because we’re allowing our work or school to take most of our time. If we are over-tired it’s because we are doing too much without enough rest. If we are stressed out, then we’re not balancing the pressures of life with prayer and worship. Let’s be honest with ourselves, when we feel like life is out of whack, it’s probably because it’s not balanced!
Naturally, there are seasons in our lives that can require us to reevaluate our priorities. For example when we get married, have a baby, experience a loss, or basically any kind of change whether big or small, it can tip the scale that balances life. However, we need to remember that the sooner we can re-balance the better. As Christians we are given all we need to recognize when this is happening and the resources necessary to balance the scale again. Please understand that I feel just like Paul in Philippians 3:12-14 when he says, “I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.”
A wise man once said, “An error doesn’t become a mistake unless we refuse to correct it.” So as we become aware of the things in our lives that need to be corrected, we have a duty as Christians to ask God to help us grow. Remember that it takes constant work to maintain balance in our lives. It seems that as soon as we think we’ve got it figured out….we don’t! But let’s not be discouraged! Our amazing God is ready, willing, and able to help us! We simply need to remain humble and rely on His strength. God reminds us in 2 Corinthians 12:7, “My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.”
It’s also extremely important to remember to not be so critical of each other! While you may be in a season with balance in your life, don’t be so quick to criticize those still working it out. Instead, let’s be patient and full of grace towards one another as God is towards us. We’re all a work in progress!