Monday, February 9, 2015
(From the book Pause: The Secret to a Better Life, One Word at a Time by Chris Maxwell)
The experts inform us about the importance of a balanced diet. Various food groups in correct amounts work well with the people who also choose to exercise and get enough rest.
I’ll be honest. I don’t eat as healthy as I should.
But, moving away from dietary tendencies, let’s think about the spiritual aspects of our lives. Do we know about healthy spiritual balance? How can we truly experience better growth, development, and transformation? How can we choose more than a Sunday snack we call “church,” and move into a life of proper spiritual diet? Is it possible to do the things that move us closer to our Leader, while not forcing the spiritual diet as legalistic regulations and requirements?
In a culture where church folks seem to be no different in behavior than non-church folks, many people answer each of those questions with anger, “No.”
I don’t. I say, “Yes, we can move into a relational spiritual encounter that invites us to the table of fellowship, of biblical nourishment, of genuine change.”
Look through your typical schedule diet. See how much time you are spending for just yourself. Set goals to find a balanced schedule including God, yourself, and others.
If I spent a fraction of the time I spend on nutritional planning and physical exercise on spiritual things and spending time with God, I would be so much more healthy in all of those areas. So why don’t I? I have no idea. But I am going to try to start changing those priorities today.
I, personally, have always struggled with balance. I I can’t juggle like a circus clown, but I do try to juggle my everyday life. After it seems to be going well, with everything happening at the same time, something inevitably happens and all of the balls come crashing down. I am learning that I can’t have a hand in everything. I can’t be a piece to every puzzle. I’ve got to let myself have a break and just rest in the Lord. It’s a daily struggle, but I am learning!
I think its funny how we talk about the relationship between food and our spiritual walk. My dad always said that there are two men (for women its women) inside of you who need to eat. The first is your physical man, he desires physical food. The second is your spiritual man, he desires spiritual food. The trick is that balance. You can choose to feed only your physical man, and he will become good and strong, but if you neglect your spiritual man, he will starve. We have to find a way to feed both men equally to live in that middle area. Spiritual foods come in all shapes, but sometimes we arent as hungry as we would LIKE to be. I find that is true in my own life. My prayer to combat this is, “God, let my desires be your desires, Let me want YOU for YOU and not for other things.” Through this God is teaching me that when we desire him, suddenly we want to spend time with him, we have that hunger for spiritual food and in this way, we can get our spiritual man fed. I think if we are honest, feeding our physical man is not much of a challenge, but keeping a healthy diet of spiritual food DOES challenge us to examine our desires and then to make a change based on what we find.
I can honestly say that balance is something that I struggle with. I make time for school work and a little time for friends but, to be honest I am struggling with balancing God into my schedule. I really want to be balanced where I have a set time in my daily schedule for God, friends and myself but as of right now I am really lacking in fulfilling this desire. I really desire to seek to grow closer to God and know Him more not for things I have to accomplish but to just know Him. This aspect of my life is an area that I really have a desire to change and I know that with the help of the Holy Spirit I will be able to balance these things.
Balance is the key to healthy living all aspects of life. It’s also the hardest thing to achieve. We all tend to put more stock or effort into certain areas while others dwindle away. It’s not always intentional but it’s the nature of things. When energy is put toward one thing, it is taken away from another. It’s a shame but it’s reality. As I look at my own life, I find that I’m terrible at balance. I tend to put so much more energy toward things that give me near-instant gratification. Things like eating and sleeping and hanging out and playing music and video games and and and. None of those things are inherently bad but when I put most of my energy toward them, my time with Jesus suffers. It’s something we all battle. It’s something we will always battle. The key is to constantly get better. There must be constant effort to reach a place that more energy is put toward our relationship with Jesus than any other area. It’s something we all know and have known and yet, it’s something we neglected.
I have found that it is hard to try and balance my everyday life and my spiritual life. I try to balance my everyday life just on my own and it is hard to do. I am learning that yes it is hard to balance everything together but that maybe I need to set some of that stuff down and take it one step or one thing at a time and not try to do it all at once.
Balance is one of my favorite words. However, it is one of my weakest qualities. I am spontaneous. Like a ball of fire so while my days may have the same schedule (just about). The intricate details are always changing. I can make plans all day, but they tend to change all the time. However, I am thankful that for the Acts class I have this semester we are required to keep a journal from daily devotional times. This has helped tremendously. I can say accountability all day long, but it is such a help to have that necessity of “I have to do this.” It has become less of homework and more of a time for me to find balance, and rest in Jesus.
Being balanced is always a challenge. Balanced time, balanced diet, and balanced everything. It’s important to have that time set aside where it’s just you and God, no one else. Although it is difficult to get alone we have to make time for our spiritual growth. Finding time to just rest in The Lord’s goodness and promises is something I look forward to. Balancing that out someday’s can be a struggle, but when I find rest in him I have learned that everything else seems to fall into place.
While reading this blog I began thinking about the man who crossed the Grand Canyon on a tightrope. His balance was crucial to his survival. What if we viewed our own spiritual balance with this much importance? We all know what happens when we loose our balance….we fall. It is inevitable for all of us as sinners. When the Israelites lost their balance they fell big time, and began worshiping idols and neglecting God. The bible is full of characters who loose their balance, but it is also full of those who strive under the challenges God gave them because they got the balance right. Maintaining the right spiritual balance should be as important as not falling off a tightrope, but many times I know that in my life, it is not. We need to pray that God keeps us thirsty for the Good News and that He helps us stay on the rope!
I drive the struggle bus when it comes to balancing. Knowing when to make time for friends, family, school work and God doesn’t comes easy. I am the type of person that will put off something important just to hang out with a friend. However, this semester has been a challenge and I am learning each day what should come first and how to balance each thing. I think the most difficult thing to mix into the balance is going to be alone time with God. First off, I hate being alone. And secondly, I don’t really know what to do while I’m alone. I get bored really easy and just talking to God doesn’t easy either. Learning the different forms of prayer is going to help though.
If you were to use any word to describe me it would not be balanced…mentally, physically or spiritually, at least at the moment but i know ill get there one day.
I have declared my self, “gravitationally allergic.” Not clumsy. Allergic to gravity. With that in mind, balance has never been easy for me. I either find myself super busy or super bored. It isn’t an easy task for me to make sure to make time for me, and to allow the Lord to feed me. But I am slowly learning how, one day, one moment at a time. The hard way. When you wake up on your bathroom floor after blacking out, you begin to realize the value of rest. I know without the quality time I spend with the Lord each morning and throughout the day, I could not survive. I am nowhere near as balanced as I want to be. Each day I try and come back to center myself on God and allow Him to keep me balanced in a spiritually and literally gravitationally challenged world.
Balancing is a difficult thing for me sometimes. Whether it’s leading worship on campus or group projects, I always do everything I can to make sure things run smoothly. I understand that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes, I become scatterbrained and sort of ineffective. As this class continues, I pray that the Lord will help me pause, rest, and properly balance the things in my everyday life- especially my activities within my ministry calling of worship.
I’ve found that balancing is hard for me. Whether it’s spending time with God, school work, friends, family, and the list can go on and on. As I’ve gotten older, I’m realizing that my life needs more balance. It all starts with the time that I spend with God during the day. I can always tell when I haven’t spent enough time with him, because my day just seems to be off balance. I pray that even as this semester goes on, that I will be able to be a lot more balanced in every aspect of my life, especially my time with God.
Balance is transformational. It is not just a need, but also a desire. With so many areas of life in need of our attention, we subconsciously desire a balanced life so we can accomplish all tasks set before us. When we tame that desire into a habit, then comes our ability to live out that balanced life. The transformation does not come from accomplishing the balance of our carnal tasks, but from the balance of our carnal tasks with our spiritual needs. When we can truly set down that which occurs outwardly and take up that which occurs inwardly, giving each side the amount of time deserved, we reach that transformational balance. This is the balance that takes us to the next level and keeps us growing. This is the life where “burnouts” don’t exist and “give ups” don’t happen. Balance is transformational.
I struggle just as much as the next person with balancing God into my equation of volleyball, school, girlfriend, and friends. I seem to never insert God into that equation to balance both sides. Its almost like a math equation. I have volleyball, school, etc.. on one side and the other side is basically 0. So in that there is no equation. Volleyball = God. School = God. +Girlfriend = God. Friends = God. Without that balance the equation falls apart. The only time I do is on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and the occasional talk with my friend Lance. Other than that I struggle to find a way to solve my equation and balance it out on both sides.
Balance is so necessary. And as much as I try and try to do this balance thing on my own, it is merrily impossible without the help of Jesus. Though balance doesn’t come naturally, but that cannot my excuse. My mind is typically running a million miles a minute in every direction. And with that, I am learning that I must fight for my focus on Christ. Balance is a mindset. It brings stability, not within your own strength, but through Christ. By taking those steps to focus on Him and spend time in the word, He meets us in our weakness and balances out our lives. Though the rough patches of life still come, having that solid rock makes all the difference.
This makes me realize that I do not spend enough time reading my Bible devotionally. Part of a healthy spiritual diet includes reading God’s word and meditating on what it says. This has become a challenge to me to spend more time reflecting on what God is trying to tell me through his word.
Balancing has been one of the hardest things for me to do in my life. I tend to go on rants. Most days i feel like its just basketball, school, and rest. And other days i feel like its God and nothing else. As i grow in my faith in Christ, it will be necessary for me to schedule my day down in such a way that i don’t miss out on all of the goodness of life. This includes friendships, relationships, education, etc. God has been tugging my heart to give up everything to him and to learn to sacrifice things that lead to an unbalanced diet in my life.
As the saying goes, “One bad meal won’t make you fat, just like one good meal won’t make you skinny.” With that being said i think that relates to my life a lot, especially from a spiritual aspect. The two or three good meals i have a week seems to only come on sunday morning service, tuesday morning convo and wednesday night chapel. if i am only getting three good meals a week, how in anyway is that a healthy lifestyle? In a physical sense, if i do not eat healthier every day and make it a normal thing, but instead i eat only healthy meals two or three times a week then i will not be in good shape.
my goal is to apply this motto to my daily walk with christ. i want to be in better shape spiritually, as the bible says i want to run and not get weary, so i need to start “eating” better.
The thing about balance is that it gets harder as you add things to it. I think about balancing things on my head or in my hand. The more you add the harder it is to balance. As you stack cards or cups or anything, the more weight added, the harder balance becomes normally causing a crash. This is my life now. God is currently helping me simplify my life and me focus on the things that are important. God isn’t interested in loaded me down and making me balance a lot, he knows that will make me crash, instead he wants to take what I do not need to be balancing and hold it for me. He wants me to only carry (do) the things that benefit me and help me have a balanced life.
I wish I was better with balance. If I were, maybe then God wouldn’t have to allow such drastic things in life to happen simply to get my attentio back. I think so many of the things that I would like to avoid happen simply because of that reason. God wants my balance.
Not until I got to college did I realize the real definition of balance. In high school, my parents pretty much balanced everything for me. When I got to college, I had to learn had to balance my schedule on my own. It took a while. I really had to learn that unless I put Jesus first in my life, it was very difficult to handle all the responsibilities of my sport, clubs, organizations, and homework. Most people think that taking time out of your day for Jesus, you will just lose time for the rest of your responsibilities. But in reality, whenever I take time out of my day for Jesus, the Lord gives me all the time I need to keep my responsibilities in order.
Balance is something I am growing into. I will say this: The more on fire I become for Jesus, the more I become consumed with Him, and the easier balance becomes. Alone time fuels me because if I don’t accept God’s love first, it is difficult to love others. So, I love this season of my life where I am growing into balance.
I’ve learned here recently that i must balance my time with people with God and my time with just God. I’m an extravert so it’s very hard for me to just be alone. That’s why chose solitude as my spiritual discipline.
When I look through my own life and see that I obviously am not very healthy in my choices and what my spiritual diet is it hits me hard. I know I need to more consistently have a balanced, less selfish diet, and this is something I have been working on for a while. Just like when someone has to go on a diet or discipline themselves to be able to have a balanced diet as opposed to eating only fast food, to be able to have this balanced spiritual diet it takes discipline and hard work at it, but the results are never void or not worth having. God desires us to have this balanced diets and even in our own spiritual bodies we were made for this type of relationship minded loving diet as opposed to focusing on ourselves. I desire to continue reaching out and loving others and quit focusing so much on myself.
Unfortunately I too often fall under that category of people who find it difficult to find balance. It’s so easy for me to focus on things that bring me temporary satisfaction when that time could be invested on eternal satisfaction. Ironically, I find that the sweetest moments in life are when I’m in complete adoration of God. Finding this balance is a process that I’m continuing to work on and while I’m not quite there yet, I can see that the moments in life when I am, are the moments in life that I love the most.