There is one piece of advice I hear all the time... "You just need to find balance in your life, then things will be better and less stressful." But something hit me today... that's a LIE??
Let's picture a seesaw. To have a seesaw in balance would mean that the item on each end has to carry the same weight. But how can they?
If you compare family, work, passions, interests, friends, etc, I think we would all agree that each of those areas carries a different weight in our life and, depending on circumstances, sometimes those weights change as much as the circumstances themselves change.
So if I'm going to attain balance... I either need to force each of the items to carry the same weight or... flail about as I try to find the right combination. I've tried both many times.
Shaving off some weight of certain areas so that they won't weigh down the others... doesn't work. No matter how hard I tried, these areas just wouldn't stay forced into the small box in which I tried to get them into.
I've also exhausted myself with trying to find the right combination. All of those attempts ended in either self-deprecating talk, giving up altogether, and/or wildly swinging from one extreme to the other. If anything moved or change it would crash down around me.
Coming upon this same dead-end of trying to get the sides of my life into balance, I stopped and looked at my desk. It was littered with tissues yet again from being frustrated that I couldn't get my seesaw to "get it together." I started to wonder what other choices I had because this cycle was driving me nuts.
Then it hit me... BALANCE is IMPOSSIBLE. For one thing, the things in my life carry different weight and secondly, they keep changing. I can't change either of those facts nor am I capable of finding the right combination. Life changes way too fast to figure it out. So if finding balance isn't the goal, then what is?
As I was looking at google images for pictures of a seesaw, I found these:
Looking at these pictures, I started to notice that if I were to add or take away a rock, then it would inevitably affect the other side. If I give more importance to one thing, I will be changing something else. No matter how careful I try and keep the other side at the same height, it WILL change.
But is this a bad thing?
Ecclesiastes 3 came to mind (the section that talks about there being a season and a time for everything). I questioned why I was so focused on trying to find a spot for EVERYTHING in THIS moment in time. Because that is what I was doing. I said I wanted everything to be in balance, but actually, what I was wanting is to have everything at the high-point side of the seesaw.
I tried to search for a picture of a seesaw where both sides were high to illistrate this desire... but I couldn't find one. The glaring reality that I was trying to attain the impossible hit me in the face. I'm DONE with that.
So what is my new goal if finding balance wasn't possible?
I found my answer in Ecclesiastes 3:14 - TRUST!!
I need to understand and acknowledge that the different areas of my life will be things at different heights at different times. When things change or I change something or even I myself change... it will affect something and that is OK!! It doesn't mean I'm failing, it doesn't mean that I have to throw in the towel on figuring it out, and it doesn't mean I have to be hard on myself.
If everything has its time/season and if nothing can be added to or taken away from His work (vs 14)... then what am I doing striving so hard to keep everything in its "high" place??
My favorite verse strikes again: Psalm 46:10... which holds two meanings for me now:
1) I don't need to strive because He's got this. 2) If I keep striving, I won't get to know that He's God because I won't get to experience that He's got this. (Psalm 34:8)