Sunday, January 4, 2009

Create Balance In Your Life This Year

by Monica Hernandez

Is your life hectic? Are you overwhelmed by obligations, keeping abreast with career and the changing times, juggling priorities, and striving to honour appointments? Whatever your occupation, this busyness is the nature of current times in this society and we all fall prey to it.

Yet, as we begin to think carefully, we see that our busyness all stems from a sense of being in control of our lives, rather than from an understanding that we are owned by God (Psalm 100) and He will lead us into more harmonious ways to fulfill His plans.

However, it is not too late in the new year to make resolution to create balance in your life by savouring God’s presence and the soundness of His leading. Trust me, this counsel is not only for you but for me as well, because I too, am guilty of multi-tasking and being overwhelmed.

Though we might seem overwhelmed by our activities and each one seems just as important as the other, and we want to do them all, we can bring order out of chaos and balance into our every day affairs. We can bring balance into our lives when we recognize that we are creatures not only of body, but of soul (mind, will and emotions) and spirit as well, and need to give attention to all aspects of our being.

In the latter part of last year, I found myself being very busy in the outer realm of life, with writing projects, counselling people, and teaching classes, among other tasks—far too busy and not maintaining my devotional life like I am used to. My sense of connection with God was brittle. I would lie awake at nights, feeling tense, irritable and being flooded with past memories that were not at all pleasant. In other words, my life was not in balance. I was not at peace.

One night, as I lay awake in bed, I was reminded of Jesus’ teaching on the true value of life versus the possessing of an abundance of things in the natural realm (I believe this includes overworking too). He was teaching about the need to recognize our spiritual lives and maintain a balance between that and our natural lives. This indicates that there is more to life that ordinarily meets the eye.

It was not long before my thoughts shifted to Psalm 100 which says that we did not make ourselves and belong to God, and I began to take stock of my devotional life. When last did I meditate in the Word? When last did I spend quality time in the Word and speak it into my life and affairs? And I recognized that it was longer than was good for me.

We hear a lot these days about maintaining a balanced diet—don’t we? But not much about doing the same with our spiritual diet, for example, partaking of the nature of Christ through His words, and appropriating them into our lives so that our spiritual immune system can be strong, and avoid the attacks of destructive forces.

When we maintain a balanced diet and physical fitness, we develop strong bodies and an immune system that wards off illness. Just the same, when we maintain a balanced spiritual diet and spiritual fitness, we develop a strong immunity that wards off many troubles and nuisances in our lives. How do we maintain a balanced spiritual diet? By appropriating spiritual truths into our being, in faith. This practice is very similar to the eating of food.

In balancing our lives, four important principles stand out: (1) time management, (2) re-thinking our priorities, (3) nurturing spiritual values, and (4) building spiritual discipline to follow through.

King Solomon taught that “there is a time for every purpose: a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to break down and a time to build up; a time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones; a time to rend and a time to sew; a time to keep silence and a time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3). And these are just a few of the examples he gave.

I will add this one: there is a time for busyness and there is a time for relaxation and smelling the roses.

Take time to pause and reflect on the following words of an anonymous writer who took time to give us “Take Time...”

“Take Time...”
Take time to work...It is the price of success.
Take time to think...It is the source of power.
Take time to play...It is the secret of perpetual youth.
Take time to read...It is the fountain of wisdom.
Take time to be friendly...It is the road to happiness.
Take time to laugh...It is the music of the heart.
Take time to love and be loved...It is a God-given privilege.
Take time to share...It is too short a life to be selfish.
Take time to dream...It is hitching your wagon to a star.
Take time to pray...It is the greatest power on earth
—Author unknown

And may I add my two cents’ worth? Take time to talk with God often, and when you do, take time to listen; He has much to say. Also, take time to create balance in your life this year.

Suggested Readings: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; Psalm 127:1; Luke 12:15; Ephesians 5:18-19.

No comments: