The theme of this blog is to become mature and COMPLETE. Although I know that this is not a reality to be attained here on earth but it is the desire of God to conform us to His image and likeness, to become holy as he is holy, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Is a “balanced life” possible? Can we as human beings really balance the demands of life, work, family, faith and pleasure? Can two or more things in life be equally measured/weighed and put in equilibrium? Should balance even be a goal?
Sometimes I look at the life of a person I think “has it all together” and ask them, “how do you balance all of these demands?” If I am giving too much time, or energy, to my work – is the answer to give more time to pleasure or family to “balance” the equation? Or is that just adding more of what is killing me and wrong with my life?
Before we move on any further I need to share something very important with you that I have learned. Let me break the unfortunate truth to you (and me) that I have come to understand… A balanced life is a myth! No amount of books or organizational ideas on Pinterest will help you and I accomplish this impossible task.
A better perspective might be to think in terms of priorities, instead of having the goal be balance. To have priorities in place one must ask and answer (1) what is important? and (2) How much time and energy is needed to allocate toward that priority? For any priority to be in place we must create margin (or boundaries) to allow room for them.
In a recent blog and podcast by Michael Hyatt, How to Create More Margin in Your Life he identifies the 5 assets we are risking in life without margin. 1. Health. 2. Family 3. Friends 4. Personal Effectiveness 5. Influence.
As I read this article I started to think about which of these assets I have risked and lost over the years. The answer is unfortunately… I have lost all of these at times! There is a lot at stake – a lot to risk if we do not make the necessary adjustments for our future.
Really it is about keeping priorities in line (determined order) and not at the expense of other priorities. You cannot possibly invest the same amount of time into every relationship in your life (Thank God!) – you would drive yourself crazy.
When I get to the point where I feel like life is completely out of control I look back at my priorities and ask myself, “What do I want?” A better questions might be, “What does God want?” (although I’m probably not spiritual enough to keep that at the forefront of my mind).
I have found that my life moves from one extreme to the next. Meaning, my priorities are great and healthy and then without much time I have lost sight of my priorities, which I mistakenly call a “lack of balance.” Then the pain and consequences ensue.
If I’m completely honest with myself, I would have to say that moving back and forth from these extremes has led to a life of resentments. If I work really diligently at a work project or dream and then notice my family suffer for it, I get resentful at them and sometimes God for what I’m feeling. I can’t tell you how many times I have said to my wife and especially in my head, “I’m doing it for you… for us!” What a bunch of crap! I am really just doing what I want with no regard to the list of priorities I have made. I have risked and gambled the assets God has graciously given me.
In the next blog post I will share with you my new goal… an imbalanced life!
What is your experience with balance and priorities? What has been helpful to you? Leave a comment!