One of my ongoing struggles is with balance. I sometimes feel like a tightrope walker. Sometime like a circus clown with a juggling act … a clown because if anyone were to look closely enough, they would realize how comical it really is. “Why are you trying to juggle that?” I’m not sure if I would have the answer. So I hope no one looks too closely while I keep up the act.
And I get frustrated when I drop a pin or two. Or I get annoyed that no one notices how hard I’m trying to maintain. Or I sink into a dark morass of self-inflicted disappointment, because of self-set goals I’ve missed.
And still, I try to find a balance.
I’m editing a project for a writer, who is also a painter. In order to get a better sense for his writing style, I began reading one of his previously published works, and something I read did more than whisper to me. It spoke, loudly. “Hey, this is you. Listen up!” Maybe it was the timing. Maybe it was just the simple truths. But I saw myself in the paragraphs:
We all struggle with our desire for balance, that place of imaginary security. We all admire balance; we even envy it when we perceive others are living a more balanced life than we. But this balance we see and the balance we desire, is it from God? Is it from a need for God? Or is it personal, prideful gymnastics?
… My pride, desiring to appear balanced, balances on my remaining leg of abilities, my understandings, even my virtues. It takes all my effort and focus just to maintain this appearance of balance. How long I can continue the effort will depend on my resolve.
Eventually, in exhaustion, God offers me merciful futility. I fall down. Gratefully defeated.
There is an unbalanced balance that pleases God. You see it throughout the Bible. It’s only when I accept my imbalance and acknowledge how weak and crippled I am, that I become dependent on God.
That’s where I find the paradox of balance, leaning totally on Him. – Quote from Deepest Thanks, Deeper Apologies, by Stephen Shortridge
A strange paradox indeed. It drew me, on the threshold of a New Year, to make this my prayer …
Heavenly Father, it’s 2015. I meant to have everything worked out, my goals and vision and to-do list for the entire year. Okay, maybe not that, but probably just as bad.
An unbalanced balance is probably what I need to embrace this year, at least in the beginning. Please help me, Lord.
I don’t have everything figured out and that’s okay. Rather than patting myself on the back because of my misguided sense of control, it will force me to depend on you. And that’s what I really want. And even when I don’t want it, it’s what I really need.
Forgive me for trying to figure it all out instead of resting in You and allowing You to work in me and through me.
Help me to understand that the things I try to do without Your power and guidance will only fall flat. And the things that You do through me, often almost without me even knowing or realizing, are the things that really matter. The things that go farther than those things I am grasping to control.
It’s the start of a new year. Let me be led by Your Spirit, guided by Your hand. Let these not be just words but the deep prayer of my heart. Help me to surrender to You in every way, even when it means giving up some of my so-called rights.
Lord, You had every right, and made Yourself a servant. I have no rights, and make myself a queen.
I know you have. Your grace is renewed each morning. Thank You for that, dear Lord. Help me to lean on You and in leaning, find my strength, my joy. My true balance.