I admit it…I am one of those people who have trouble finding balance in life.
Working with preschoolers who have behavioral disorders and being single I would frequently find myself working 50 to 80 hours per week. Many of those hours were not paid because I was taking the work home with me. I had very little time for friends or family and my relationship with Christ was not a priority. I was stressed and worn out and life felt totally and completely out of balance.
Today I stay at home to assist my grandmother, and I write this blog. I have a lot of leeway when it comes to planning my time and how to assist others, but I still feel completely out of balance at times. It is as if the pendulum has swung too far the other way.
Last week I was reading the book The Jesus Life by Stephen W. Smith. In this book he presents the idea that we can live a life like Jesus life. He says that the key to living a life like Jesus isn’t found in finding balance in our lives, but in finding the rhythm of our lives or rather looking at Christ’s life and seeing the rhythm that He applied to His own life and then applying that rhythm to our lives.
The concept of finding your rhythm in life rather than balance is intriguing to me. When I think of rhythm my thoughts naturally turn to music. My thoughts also turn to football. (I know some of you are probably wondering about the football part.)
In football when a team is doing well, they say that the team has found their rhythm. If a team is struggling then they haven’t found their rhythm.
So maybe the key to an abundant life is not balancing it all…maybe the key to an abundant life is about finding a rhythm to live by.
Most of us are that same way. When we are struggling and stressed out, it isn’t necessarily because we have lost our balance in life, but because we have lost our rhythm in life.
When have found our rhythm in life, life is calmer and we are more relaxed.
But how do we find this rhythm when we live in a world of busyness and chaos?
- Start with keeping the Sabbath. Set aside time to rest and relax. One day per week shut off the phones, turn off the computer, step away from the Internet, and just relax.
- Celebrate life! Make the time to celebrate and rejoice in life! Some ways to do this:
- Have friends over once a month. Everybody can bring a dish or you can meet at a restaurant.
- Brainstorm with your small group different fun and life-giving festivals that you can do.
- Get together with the leadership of your church and discuss ways that your church can celebrate life.
- Plan an annual, bi-annual, or quarterly retreat. Schedule some time for just you and the Lord. Plan a road trip or a weekend out of town. Get away somewhere that you can be alone with the Lord.
- Find a mentor. Someone you can meet with on a regular basis for discussions, guidance and accountability.
- Read the gospel of Luke. Read about Jesus and how He did life. Don’t just read His words. Look at how He lived. What patterns do you see in the rhythm of His life? How did He live His life? Jesus was very much in demand. A lot of people wanted to see Him. What words do you read that point to a rhythm or routine in Jesus life?
- Read Ecclesiastes 3. Reflect on the times or seasons of your life right now.
- Listen to Jesus.
- Create a place to be still before the Lord. This is not just a place to sit and study the Bible but a place to sit and be still, a place of quiet and prayer, a place to listen to God as well as speak to Him.
- Be intentional about your work during the day, but also be intentional about resting in the evenings.