Stop. Breath. Pray. Go to God
I was completely missing it all as I moved along, firmly camped upon some thought far away. I hadn’t noticed the lively scene unfolding around me – people busily doing life, late model aircraft sitting impressively beyond floor to ceiling windows, distant glassy buildings reflecting a beautiful sunset sky, and ground crews scurrying to make the evening departure rush happen. All completely escaping me.
How often did I just charge forward and miss things like this? Which of the many things I had elevated to critical were important enough in God’s view to stress over and mentally wall myself off? The career, the business startup, the voluminous outside activities I had piled on? The price of overload became clear and I was done with it but lacked a cohesive exit strategy. I felt imprisoned.
God desires much more for us than chronic stress. He desires balance in our lives, and strongly commands us not to be anxious. It’s for our own good – the physical and emotional impact hurts us and derails higher pursuits. It’s inconceivable to selflessly serve God in this condition.
Even though Martha’s fervor for her preparations was a service to the guest she had acknowledged as Messiah, seeking Him more deeply should have permeated her heart and mind and superseded everything else. Jesus lovingly implied she had fallen short. Martha was stressed and had not achieved the ideal balance. I would have missed that one too.
Balance is critical enough to be addressed throughout the Bible. In Philippians, Paul encourages us to look out not only for our own interests, but also for the interests of others; in Ecclesiastes, we read that there is a season for everything; and multiple scriptures indicate we should not be of the world we physically live in – an extraordinary balancing act. Lived out, these passages have far-reaching implications in our lives regarding balance.
A balanced life reflects God’s priorities – time seeking and serving Him, time with loved ones, an appropriate workload, appropriate focus on health, and of course, fun and rest. We must vigilantly pursue balance if we are serious about reducing stress and achieving peace. It’s that important.
Still though, God doesn’t break out the calendar to tell us what to do when. We’ll begin working through steps to achieving balance next.
How do you feel your time-spend reflects God’s priorities? What would you change?
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Philippians 2:3-4 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others