Have you ever had a washing machine that has gotten out of balance?
It sounds bad.
It usually happens because you’ve put too many clothes in.
And then after a loud struggle in the barrel, it eventually stops.
Life can be like that. We really don’t mean to do it. We just keep adding things until we start running too hard, pushing ourselves to the point where our bodies cry out and force us to stop.
Are you off-balance?
Since I’ve scaled back a little, I am now seeing some important benefits of having balance, benefits that you might be longing for in your own life.
- You have more time to be available for friends.Yesterday, a close friend and I visited a mutual friend who is very sick. In times past, I might have said, “I really want to go see her, but I can’t because I’m working. Tell her I am praying for her.” While I still have many projects to complete, there is enough margin in my life now that I can carve out time for those who are important to me. I am very passionate about maintaining relationships and speaking into women’s lives, but I was limited on how often I could commit to one-on-one meetings. Now, there is time for an occasional lunch or coffee with a friend. “Friends come and friends go,but a true friend sticks by you like family” (Proverbs 18:24).
- You have more order in your home. I like to keep the main areas of my home clean, but paper clutter always gets the best of me. With my new schedule, when I take breaks from writing messages, I tackle a clutter project. I can now see the top of my dresser, where mail had accumulated. Before I would say, “I just don’t have time to get to that today.” Then another day would pass. Then another day…Before you knew it, there was a mountain of mail on my dresser in my bedroom, and then there were bags of mail that needed to be shredded. That would create angst every time I walked into the bedroom. Why? God is a God of order, and as His children, He’s placed that need for order in our hearts. He did not intend for us to be out-of-order. “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace–as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people” (1 Corinthians 14:33).
- The anxiety is diminishing. A friend of mine once called me an “adrenaline junkie.” I didn’t like that description, but as I come off a 24/7 adrenaline rush, I am realizing our bodies cannot maintain a high speed at all times. I will confess that I am still getting used to this new schedule and learning how to breathe deeper breaths rather than those shallow breaths of someone always on the move. Philippians 4:6 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Anxiety is not of God. He is a God of peace that is also available to us through prayer.
- I am honoring the Sabbath.It’s a commandment. There are no loopholes about taking one day off per week. God knows we need to unplug from the world and plug into His peace and presence. I am now working my schedule around taking this time to re-charge. Today, I had this blog to do, a radio show to finish editing, and possibly a message to complete, but tomorrow, I will kick back and trust that I can get my work done in the remaining six days rather than seven. I don’t want to disappoint God anymore in this area. “There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience” (Hebrews 4:9-11).
Someone once said, “The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.” I say, everything runs smoother when it’s in balance.
Categories: Devotion of the Week