Have you ever been to the circus and seen a tightrope walker? He attempts to cross a thin rope with a body and feet fifty times bigger than the rope he walks on.
It takes an incredible amount of balance for him to accomplish the task. Inevitably, once, twice or more, he teeters back and forth to maintain his balance.
Maintaining a balanced life for us can at times feel like walking a tightrope. Life throws numerous demands our way, seemingly on a daily basis. They threaten to knock us off our rope. And just as we find ourselves teetering back and forth to maintain that balance, life throws us for a loop. We barely stay up, and we can fall easily. We get sick, an unexpected bill becomes due, a family member is in crisis, our car breaks down, or worse, we are in an accident. In fact, between daily demands and unexpected challenges, keeping our balance may seem impossible.
I believe that in our own strength, it is impossible! I believe that Satan would like nothing more than to knock us off the thin ropes we walk, and send us spiraling down to the ground. But Jesus has the answer for us in Luke 2:52:
“And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, in favor with God and man.”
Jesus sets the example of a balanced life for us. We are to be balanced in four equal ways. You may have heard the analogy of the three legged stool. Even three legs are not as stable as a four legged chair. And two or one leg will not stand alone at all.
What are the legs of the four legged chair? We must maintain all four aspects, firmly in our lives, in order to maintain balance.
These four legs are: 1) mental; 2) physical; 3) social; and 4) spiritual.
“Jesus grew in wisdom…” This is intellectual growth. We need to keep ourselves stimulated mentally. My husband learned recently in a leadership seminar, and shared with me, that our brains actually have an unlimited capacity to store knowledge. God created us with curiosity and a need to learn and hold that information.
“Jesus grew in stature…” As any scientist would tell us, our bodies were made for movement, not to remain sedentary. Just look at the way our knees and arms bend in the middle. We were created to move! Any physician would tell us that movement is vital to our health. Exercise is not simply done to keep ourselves looking thin. It is done to maintain a balanced and healthy life.
“Jesus grew in favor…with man” You and I were not created to be alone and live a solitary life. In order to maintain balance in this area, we need to engage other people. They help lift us up, and we can help lift them up.
“Jesus grew in favor…with God.” A daily quiet time with God is not an option if you want a vital life with God. It is a must. To read His word, to pray, to give thanks, to start our morning and end our evening talking with Him creates the balance that Jesus talks about.
So how are you doing on your tightrope? In the crazy, fast-paced, domineering and demanding society we live in, balance seems impossible, or a lofty dream at best. But this is not the case with Jesus as our guide and leader. The key to a balanced life, is an equal measure of each. Too much of one or the other throws our life off balance, and we soon find ourselves teetering on that daily tightrope we walk. An obsession with one to the neglect of the others can knock us off and send us painfully to the ground.
When I find myself frustrated, lacking self-control, irritable, or stressed out, those are almost sure signs that I am out of balance, trying to balance my life on only one leg or two. That is when I know I need to refocus and get my priorities back in balance and in sync with Jesus and His example.
I must ask myself: Am I spending enough time alone with God? Am I in proper fellowship with others? Am I learning, reading, or experiencing anything new and mentally challenging? Am I eating right and exercising enough? If one or more of these is out of balance, I must put it in check. As soon as I do, I find myself gaining my equilibrium and balance again.
Following the example of Jesus brings balance to our lives.
So don’t lose hope, thinking that a balanced life is out of your reach. Get on your knees, put your hands in the air, and ask the One who created you and modeled balance for you to help you sustain good balance in your life!
Speak Truth Love