Achieving Christlike Balance
"Love, then do what you please." St. Augustine
I saw this quote a few weeks ago while browsing through a book entitled, "Experiencing the Depths of Jesus Christ" by Madame Guyon. It conveys where my heart is resting now. I'm a good balancer. The term "juggler" may even be more accurate. I definitely know how to manage several plates in the air at once, killing myself before letting one of them fall. I may get that from my mother. She's always been a pro (honestly, no one does it quite like her) or it may just come from a sense of pride that comes from wanting to be everything to everyone and the self-fulfillment that comes from that. Even if at the end of the day I'm spent, with nothing else to give, least of all to my Savior.
I have been struggling with this thing called "balance" more so lately than I ever have. Is it full time ministry combined with motherhood, being a wife, family, trying to write a book, freelance work, and everything that entails? Perhaps. Or maybe it's just because I have forgotten one very simple but incredibly profound truth that molds everything together. Sometimes, I feel like Jesus and I are in an unbalanced courtship. He loves me and I love Him. He knows me by name and I cry out His at least 100 times a day. He allows heartache and pain and I love Him just the same. Yet, in all of that I forget that He is CENTRAL to everything. That in the midst of our relationship, He does not desire for me to put Him at the top of my list. He wants to be in the center of each thing on my list. Is this the key to balance? I think so.
Several weeks ago, a dear friend of mine sent me something she wrote about "achieving balance." She's an award-winning author, encourager and dear friend. I love that when God gives her insightful words to pen, she sends them to me if she thinks they'll bring peace and perhaps even a challenge.
Judging by today’s standards, Jesus didn’t lead a balanced life at all. He worked long hours, skipped a lot of meals, and regarded his goals with a large degree of tunnel vision. He even removed himself from his daily routine for more than a month, focusing on one thing and one thing only. Not exactly balanced, right?
In your busy life, what are the things you make time for, no matter what the cost? Sleep, even if it’s not as much as you’d like. A couple of meals each day, even on-the-go, are a requirement for everyone. Your spouse and kids are a required priority. Unfortunately, activities such as key relationships, leisure time and daily prayer often take a back seat for long periods when our lives are at full throttle, and we often perceive that as failure.
In John 4, Jesus set a good picture-type for us about setting priorities in our lives. When asked about stopping to eat in verse 34, He stated, “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work.” Everything else took a secondary position to following the call of God on his life and fulfilling his purpose; yet he still made time for the other things. Jesus showed us throughout his life here on earth that true “balance” comes from knowing what is central, and building everything else around it.
I'm thinking that Jesus really could care less about my juggling skills. He probably even wishes I'd let a couple of those plates fall, stopping to reprioritize and grab hold of another plate that holds more importance and significance in light of eternity. Ultimately, man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. To bring Him glory we must become less concerned with how well we're balancing everything and just love Him passionately, as well as His people.
So... love, then do what you please.