Have you ever felt like the funny picture above? Me, too! I hear all the time that we must manage our time because there is no such thing as “balance”. Do you agree? If you’ve ever tried to balance your life, you certainly know the struggle.
Just when you think you have things balanced, the scale tilts and throws everything off kilter. But when you manage your life, you seem to roll with the punches more freely. Please understand, I use that phrase “roll with the punches” very loosely. Some of us are wound up tight by nature, so we find it difficult to roll with anything that puts a kink in our plans.
I have found that life is less about control, regardless what we call it – managing or balancing, and more about living. But to live life on purpose without too much frazzle, you must have some values and boundaries.
By values, I mean you must to know what’s most important to you. To you. Once you determine that, you’re on your way. For me, it’s God (Jesus Christ), family (husband and children) and work (really everything else). That’s the order of importance or value.
The other thing is boundaries. By setting your own boundaries ahead of time, you are not caught off guard when situations arise. For example, as a believer (#1 value is God), I want to avoid the appearance of evil. So, if one of my husband’s friends drop by and my husband is not home, we will visit out side in the open rather than coming in the house. Or if you are single and dating someone, but have determined you will remain pure until you are married, you would avoid being alone in a setting that could lead to compromising that determination. By setting your own boundaries ahead of time, you guard your values (and reputation) when situations and circumstances surprise you.
By having values, we live on purpose. By setting boundaries, we protect our values. Life may still get out of “balance”, but we don’t have to become frazzled over it. For example, I have learned to let my house get messy when something of more importance is taking all of my time. (Maybe a sick loved one.) When that crisis is over, I can get back on my house. Another example is saying “no” to something to which you want to say “yes” because this good thing that needs a “no” interferes with another good thing that is of greater value to you.
So, if you were to ask me, “How do you balance it all?” I would have to say, I don’t. I live life as it comes and try very hard to keep first things first. Yes, from time to time, life may press in on me and I do frazzle a bit, but it’s been a long time since I’ve felt like our furry friend at the top of this post. (Now, if you saw my hair when I wake up, I may look like him! But that’s a topic for another day.)
I hope this simple reminder that we are not here to “balance” life, somehow helps. We are here to live the call of God. So, say “YES” to what’s most important. After all, life isn’t about us…it’s about HIM!