Does it ever seem to you like the things in your life are completely out of whack? Your health is failing. Your finances are a disaster. Your job is draining the life out of you. Despite your expert juggling skills, you can’t find the time or energy to balance family and work and church and other responsibilities. It’s simply too much!
Believe it or not, my late washing machine understands. Over the past several months, the poor thing became more and more out of balance. Every load, no matter how small, would send it into a shuffle across the floor, spinning wildly out of control as it struggled to hand the load it had been given. We finally had to put it to rest last week and buy a new one. Why? Simply because a washing machine that’s out of balance has the same drawbacks as we who live our lives in such a way.
1) It can’t be still.
No matter how many times we would push the washing machine back into place, it couldn’t seem to remain there. No, it wiggled and jiggled its way across the laundry room. Likewise, when our lives are out of balance, we struggle to be still. We know we need to spend some quiet time with God, but when? How? We’re too busy. There are too many obligations, too many priorities. How, in the midst of such chaos, could we possibly take some time and simply be still?
2) It complains a lot.
Have you ever heard a washing machine that’s out of balance? Good grief! What a racket! Between the gyrating of the basin and the dancing of the machine itself, the noise is unbearable. Sound familiar? When things in our lives get out of whack, we do have a tendency to complain, don’t we? Not that it makes things any better. If anything, our complaints only increase the problem because they warp our thinking with all that negative chatter. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to stop the murmuring.
3) It’s ineffective and puts a heavy load on others.
By the end of its life, my washing machine seemed just about useless, especially in the area of spinning out the clothes. At the end of each load, I would reach into the washing machine and pull out clothes that were still sopping wet. Because the washing machine wasn’t working properly, my poor dryer had to pick up the slack. Instead of having the task of drying damp clothing, it had to work overtime to make up for the washing machine’s lack of efficacy. The same can be said of us. When our lives are out of balance, we become ineffective in all areas of life, and often, it is up to others to pick up the slack. Not only is this unfair, but it can be difficult on those who are already overburdened with their own responsibilities.
In short, being out of balance is hurtful to us and those around us. So, what do we do? What is the secret of finding balance in the midst of this chaos we call life? Honestly, I don’t know the answer to that. What I do know, however, is how to find the answer, and that goes back to number one on our list: being still (Psalm 46:10). The only way we’re going to get our lives back in order is to take the time to talk to the God who does all things decently and in order (I Corinthians 14:40). Only He can direct us to the path of sanity in the midst of our craziness. That means sacrificing some time and readjusting our priorities, but in the end, I know it will be worth it.
What about you? Do you have any thoughts on how to find balance in life?