Struggling for Balance

Every area of life requires and continually struggles for balance. We’ll look at that struggle at play in a variety of rolls throughout this month, but first let’s develop an understanding of what balance is and what it requires.

7 Principles of Balance

In thinking about balance, several principles stand out as universal in our struggle. As we work to obtain and maintain balance, we must always keep in mind that balance…

  1. tree postRequires movement. To stay balanced, we must constantly move and adjust. Sometimes, the adjustments are small and invisible to others, but they always exist.
  2. Exists as a constant goal. Our physical bodies constantly work toward balance, toward homeostasis. The desire for balance exists as naturally as the function of our physical bodies. We can never escape this continual striving for balance.
  3. Needs focus. When doing a tree pose in yoga, focusing on a fixed point in front of you helps maintain balance. When your gaze wanders, balance becomes an increasing struggle.
  4. Can improve. The more you do the tree pose (along with a variety of other yoga poses), balance becomes easier. The more you consistently work at it, the better your ability to stay balanced.
  5. Keeps drama & chaos at bay. In some variety shows, acrobats show off their balancing skills by complicating the situation with people balanced upon people balancing a variety of objects. In real life, drama within balance only leads to chaos and overload.
  6. Looks different for every person. Everyone has unique limits. Every holds unique gifts and abilities. Because of these facts, our ability to balance looks different too. The basic principles stay the same, but we all obtain balance uniquely.
  7. Requires honesty & humility. We have to admit that we need to rest and readjust regularly. We have to admit our need for help in living a balanced life. Not admitting these means choosing the hard – and likely impossible – path to balance.

We’ll address the above principles later this month as we look at the role relationships, accountability, simplicity, commitments and faith all play in our constant struggle for balance. Before we can consider the activity of balance within the various aspects of our lives, though, we have to first realize the importance that having an accurate scale plays in achieving, maintaining and assessing balance.

An Accurate Scale

scale

The Bible talks about the importance of having a fair and just scale, one that accurately weighs and balances whatever it measures. That’s what we need for our lives too.

Comparisons are not accurate; neither are we able to accurately measure our own balance (2 Corinthians 10:12). God needs to be the scale. Only He knows what balances means for each individual, and He tells us through Scripture and through His Holy Spirit. The only way to obtain and maintain a balanced life is to have it continually weighed, measured and adjusted by the only accurate and just scale available to us.

DISCUSSION: Where do you feel you’re out of balance? What adjustments do you need to make?

16 thoughts on “Struggling for Balance

  1. This reminds me of watching my grandsons riding their bikes when they visited last week. The almost ten year old had to have his seat raised because he is more like a weed out of control, and his fearlessness on his Tony Hawk bike was quite impressive. Whereas, the three year old still had training wheels on his two-wheeler and struggled to get going and avoid falling. He needed a lot of hands-on attention. The oldest was balanced without thinking, but the youngest struggled even getting his bike in motion. Sounds like a lot of us…

    • So, practice and experience are key, but so are confidence and acting in fearless faith. Yet, never thinking about balance is not what we want either. The oldest didn't have to think about balance, which is a great state most of the time, but we do need to think about it sometimes.

  2. Are you saying because I walk at an angle I am out of balance? LOL I find my spiritual life sometimes getting out of balance, i.e. taking a back seat, especially during the summer when my schedule is packed with activities.
    My recent post Hypocrisy

    • Depends on how much you fall over. Balance doesn't necessarily mean everything is equal or "normal" (whatever that is) you know 😉 Why is it so easy for our spiritual lives to get out of balance, especially in the summer? And, if we know it happens, why can't we prevent it?

      • I think it happens for me Kari because of my desire to ride. It does not happen as much since i changed my riding to lunch time instead of coming to the office, working some, riding, going home to shower, then coming back. I noticed it big time then. I now use my lunch hour-basically a dead time unless I am meeting someone-to ride.
        My recent post Hypocrisy

        • Interesting example in two ways. First, you show how a simple schedule adjustment can help bring us back into adjustment. Second, you illustrate how a good thing in our lives can easily throw us out of a balance overall when we let it become too big or too small in our lives. Thanks for your honesty. A very effective example that I think most will find applicable in their own lives. I know I do.

  3. I like the needs focus point, Kari. I think I need to stay really focused on what I want my day to look like and also really focused on keeping work work and recreation recreation. Then with work I need to keep focused on the task at hand because I tend to be easily distracted by other pressing tasks. I know i've been saying this forever, but I'm definitely starting to experience some victory!
    My recent post How to Walk in the Spirit – Part 1

    • First, let me say how awesome it is to hear your testimony of victory, my friend! So thrilled for and proud of you! Keep taking those little steps; they are truly adding up to make a big difference. My husband also had to work to really make the separation that you're talking about. He's really good at keeping work and home separated now, and he's amazingly focused. Just takes time, practice and persistence. You'll get there if you just keep moving! Have you read What's Best Next? by Matt Perman? Loren Pinilis featured him on several podcasts a while back. The podcasts were great, and what I've read so far of the book is terrific too. Seems to fit exactly what you're talking about.

  4. I would say we have to be careful in our thinking about balance. As you allude to in one of your replies balance does not mean equal. Sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking we have to give equal time to the things that are important to us. Sometimes our lives will be out of balance on an equal scale. If one of our loved ones is sick then they get and deserve alot more of our attention. Our other loved ones may get less of us as the situation creates that. Being in balance means we are following our priorities and putting our efforts in the right place at the right time. Again some more of that choice making between the good and the best of how we use our resources. Time being maybe the most important.

    • Exactly right, Mark. We need to realize that balance requires constant adjustment. We can't just think we obtain balance and leave it at that. We need to regularly reassess priorities, deciding between good, better and best often times. Great point to emphasize, and I hope the other posts this month emphasize this point better too.

  5. It seems every season of life there is a difference balance that works. Having an empty nest gives more free time and if I am not careful I can waste that time on useless things, things that have no eternal value. Ordering my day can look different then someone else who had little children in the home. Because God is my life He is in every aspect of my day. Many times I have ordered my day and then God steps in with something that throws it off and unless I use flexibility I can miss something He has for me. Trust me when I say I have not been flexible at times. But God always gives another chance to learn the same lesson He sent that day. Balance comes down to trusting God for His balance instead of mine. Good post Kari, helpful and clear.

    • My pastor's wife often says, "It's just a season," when someone is going through an especially trying time. And she's right. She's saying that change is inevitable, and realizing that helps us get through them victoriously. Looking at what has eternal value helps with focus for sure. It really takes faith to trust Him for ordering our day. As we learn that we make plans but He orders our steps, our faith grows when we see He has our best interests at heart, even if we can't see the end of the season. Thanks, Betty!

  6. I've not been able to write/comment on other blogs as much as I would like these past couple weeks. I've had to work overtime at my job, watch my son more since my wife is working more, and spend time with the both of them when she has off. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm focusing on the right things (my family and work) and my readers/other bloggers will understand. Thanks for a great post!

    • You're making the right choice, Dan. It's not that the other things aren't important, but your job and family are more important. Sometimes, we have to choose among good, better and best. Just the way some seasons of life go, my friend.

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