by Grace Heyne
Life and all-you-can-eat Chinese buffets have a lot in common. Both are places of wonder and opportunity where you can sample new things, experience the familiar and best of all, have all you want. But if you go too far, you can feel exhausted and sluggish and lose all desire for anything but sleep and Netflix. Both life and Chinese buffets need balance.
How do we balance our time in the “buffet of life”? First, we must discern what balance looks like. Second, we must stop basing our self-worth on how busy we are. And third, we must acknowledge that finding balance is a lifelong journey.
To achieve a balanced life, we must define our goals. I find making a list of priorities helpful. When I know what is important to me, I can invest more time into those activities and let go of things that add stress.
All of us have different priorities. When we take time to understand the priorities of our friends and families, we can help them find their balance. When we know each other well, we can support each other when hard choices are necessary.
We all lose our balance sometimes, so having a faith community to help spot us and push us back toward living a balanced life free of stress is important.
Who says busy is better?
We have to acknowledge that being the busiest person in our group of family or friends does not increase our worth. Some people enjoy being busy, and that’s terrific. But that doesn’t make them better people than those who feel balanced with more free time. The only person who needs to feel good about the way you spend your day, week or life is you.
Balance is a lifelong journey
Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
By discerning what a balanced life looks like for us, we can grow closer to God and God’s will. Times change, and so do we. As we grow and evolve, so will our priorities. By acknowledging our changing priorities, we can readjust our balance to avoid becoming exhausted or unhappy about our changing lives.
When our lives do come out of balance, like they will, do as Peter says in 1 Peter 5:7, and “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Remember we’ve got God and each other to keep our lives in balance.
1. List your top five priorities. Does the way you spend your time reflect those?
2. How can we encourage each other to find balance?
3. What are ways to cope when we do find ourselves out of balance? How can we draw on faith to get us through?
God, you’ve blessed us with endless opportunities to discover your creation and make it better. Help us to discern how to maintain balance as we take advantage of those opportunities. Remind us to lean on you and each other when we lose our balance, and keep us vigilant to those who require our support. Amen.
Grace Heyne recently graduated from Clemson (S.C.) University where she was blessed with an incredible women’s group and Lutheran Campus Ministry. After backpacking Europe with her twin sister she’ll move to Charlotte, N.C., to begin her career.
Photo by Andrés Nieto Porras. Used with permission.
Thanks for writing this article, Grace. The whole thing is gold but I especially like the section “Who says busy is better?”
“Some people enjoy being busy, and that’s terrific. But that doesn’t make them better people than those who feel balanced with more free time.”
I have been thinking a lot about how in my own work experience I have clashed with some people who are all about work work work, busy busy busy. Like, does that make me not as good of an employee because I seem to be missing that high gear? I have ultimately learned to be comfortable with the way I am though, because I know that’s not going to change any time soon. I appreciate that there are people like that, because the world needs for there to be people like that, but I don’t think those people should expect everyone else to be like that.
Then I have also questioned if that means I haven’t found what I’m truly passionate about yet…but I still feel like I have most of my life ahead of me to figure all that out and like you said, balance is a lifelong journey.