Balance. We all strive for it in some manner or another. I've heard ladies talking who marvel at one particular mother who is able to "balance" all that she has going on. Leaders are encouraged to maintain "balance." Men talk about having to keep their work demands in check to maintain "balance." It is the Holy Grail of life management, it would seem.
I got a fresh perspective on this subject this morning as I shared a quiet time with Lisa. Imagine life as a bike ride. We talk about how balance is important to riding a bike. Think about this...the only time a bike is ever really balanced is when it is sitting still with both of your feet on the ground. The rest of the time, a bike ride is a constant challenge. It is a hundred different muscles working together to counteract the wobble, to avoid the pothole in the road and to slow down when a car approaches. Throughout that whole "experience," the bike is never completely balanced. But when the ride is over, you measure your balance, not by the individual moments along the way, but by judging the whole ride.
Many times, in our striving for balance, we can focus too much on one aspect of our life and fail to see how well we are maintaining balance. Here's a good example...Lisa. She loves a clean house. We both do. But sometimes we have needs that pop up--a kid who has a project or a game, a friend who needs someone to talk to over lunch, a ministry opportunity for the church--that can interfere with time set aside to clean the house. Now, if we focus too much on the dirty sink at home, we might think that our lives are out of balance. However, when we do that, we fail to see the child who is secure in knowing her parents love her, the friend who is at peace because we took the time to pray or the family that was touched by the generosity of our church.
Balance isn't found in maintaining a rigid schedule that never gets interrupted or off kilter. Rather, it is found by surveying your whole life and knowing that your heart, mind, body and soul are maintained in step with God's will for you. Potholes will come and dirty sinks will happen. Maintain peace in your life by keeping your eyes on the big picture God has for you. In the end, you will find balance.