I know it is almost as American as apple pie to talk about balance. A post I wrote a few months ago on the subject received over 30 comments from folks sharing their own struggles. We talk about balance using lots of different phrases: love v. grace, tough parenting v. tender, work/ministry v. family life, in it v. of it...The list goes on and on.
Wednesday night during deep conversation with my Bible Study gals, someone commented on their own search for balance. I loved her perspective on how it is an ongoing process, that you never 'achieve' lasting balance. I couldn't help but think about a recent visit to the circus and being amazed by the tightrope walker. He did not stand still on the high wire. His entire performance was a series of adjustments and movements--many requiring two steps forward, then a step back. A lean to the right was often countered by a move to the left. He never stopped moving and he remained focused straight ahead and concentrating on his position in relation to his goal. He never looked down.
I loved this visual image of what my own life feels like sometimes. I must remained focused with 'my eyes on the prize.' I must remain 'in the vine,' in touch with my Creator and Sustainer, mindful of my position. I must be willing to flex and adjust as necessary.
This thought process fit nicely into another conversation we had that night about our pastor's comments on the misconception that people 'fall into' sin. Jeff's assertion was that rather than 'falling into' sin we make a series of choices that lead us closer and closer to sin. Several of us recalled a series by Andy Stanley called "The Best Question Ever." In this book and sermon series Andy suggests that we must ask ourselves constantly, "Is this the wise thing to do?" Not, is this permissible, but is it wise. Generally when you reach the point of the 'big sin' or mistake you arrived there as a result of several unwise choices along the way.
This isn't rocket science...but, instead, a really simple way of thinking about a lesson that many of us have had to learn to hard way. What a great thing to teach our children at an early age!
Stay in the vine.
Stay in touch with the heart of God.
Take even the 'small' decisions seriously and prayerfully.
Like Solomon, beg God for wisdom, then walk in it.
My prayer for them is my prayer for myself. Help us find balance in You, Lord.