My father is in his late nineties. In most ways, he’s exceptional for his age, but on his feet, he is less stable than he was. So, he attends a balance class at the leisure centre. Here he does exercises that strengthen his muscles and improve his balance.
Balance is so important in life. Imbalance in any area, whether it be physical, mental or emotional, causes problems, preventing us from living as we were designed to. Balance is needed for health and well-being in each area of our lives.
In recent months, the Lord has been reminding me about the need for greater balance in my life. There used to be a well-known saying: “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!” Actually, all work and no play can lead to over-tiredness and a depletion not only of physical energy levels but emotional and nervous energy levels too, making life in general more difficult to cope with and causing greater stress and anxiety in challenging situations.
Prolonged imbalance and overwork can, for some people, eventually lead to a state of burnout and mean that work and ministry must stop until health is restored. How much better to find the balance the Lord wants us to have in our lives before this happens and to work from a place of inner peace and rest as Jesus did. It is with good reason that God commands us to have a Sabbath rest each week and by doing so wants us to learn the important life principle of stopping activity on a regular basis in order to be refreshed and restored.
A book I read recently gave a helpful illustration of balance – that of a bank account. We talk about balancing the books, by which we mean that our financial output must not exceed input. If there is a shortfall because we have spent beyond our means, we may find ourselves in want and experience feelings of stress. It is the same with our lives. In order that we do not become overspent, our output (for example work, giving out to others, demanding activities) must not outweigh our input (time with God, fellowship with others, rest, relaxation, recreation and fun activities).
It is good from time to time to look at our output and input to see if there is a shortfall or any signs that we are suffering from imbalance. We may need to ask God to show us why, for example, we feel we need to work continuously. Is our identity and sense of self-worth in what we achieve rather than in being a child of God?
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You want us to live life to the full and experience Your blessing in each area of our lives. Forgive me for the times when I have bowed to the pressure of work and neglected to take necessary rest and recreation. I pray you’ll show me how I can live in a more balanced way so that Your purposes are fulfilled in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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