Monday, May 4, 2015

Juggling vs Balancing ~ by @ShelleyHendrix

"Don’t ever worry and say, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ Everyone is concerned about these things, and your Heavenly Father certainly knows you need all of them. But first, be concerned about his kingdom and what has his approval. Then all these things will be provided for you.”   Matthew 6:32-33
I tend to be a bit of a workaholic. (But I’m working on it!) I have had this tendency for as long as I can remember. I have a hard time just being still without doing something. In fact, if the dishwasher and/or washing machine aren’t going while I’m writing, I feel like I’m wasting valuable time and energy. I can multi-task with the best of them. 
God showed me several years ago that I tend to be a juggler. I tend to have so many things going at one time that I spend a lot of energy just keeping things from falling to the ground and possibly falling apart. Most of the time, this is not a problem—I have a lot of energy and I like to stay busy, so I can usually do this without any problems. The problem, though, is that I cannot do this for very long. And there is a good reason for this. God did not create me—or you for that matter—to live our lives as jugglers! 
When I juggle life’s responsibilities, I can never really tell when something has been thrown my way that is not even my responsibility to keep in the air. In order to keep everything I already have in the air, I have to accept that new item or responsibility as well. Most of the time, because of the nature of juggling, I do not even get a good look at what the new thing is! Instead, God wants me to learn how to live a life of balance. 
Picture a legal scale where each tray is even with the other. Some folks will tell you that balance is not even possible so “why try?” I agree and I disagree. Since I am the one writing, I will tell you why. I agree that perfect balance is rarely, if ever, possible. Life tends to throw unexpected and seemingly random circumstances our way. Life is unpredictable. People do not always respect our desire—nay quest—for balance. So, for this reason, I agree that balance is not necessarily possible. At least not in perfect proportion. 
But I also disagree that we should not even set out to have a balanced life. Imagine how sloppy and hard to read this page would be if there were no margins on it. How wide are the margins in your life? 
When I try to handle life’s responsibilities as a juggler, I tend to make decisions in haste, rather than taking the time to really weigh out what choice to make. 
When I live life as a juggler, most of my closest relationships are with people who never get to see my eyes—meaning they do not get the benefit of my full, undivided attention. 
When I live my life as a juggler, I never know that what I am spending all of my attention and energy on is what my Heavenly Father has called and equipped me to do in the first place. 
Ah, but when I become intentional to cultivate and sustain a balanced life, I will know pretty quickly when something comes my way that I am not responsible to handle—at least on my own. When the scale tips too heavily in one direction, I am automatically alerted that something is not quite right. Choosing to seek God’s Kingdom and what pleases Him helps me to cultivate balance because it enables me to trust Him to take care of those things that are outside of my margins—my control, my responsibility. 
Do you tend to juggle life’s responsibilities or have you found the secret to cultivating a balanced life? 
What is your Heavenly Father saying to you today as you read and consider today’s Scripture and devotion? 

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