We're home off the road for a few days and I am once again faced with scaling the heights of the mounds of dirty clothes we have all unceremoniously dumped from our suitcases. After all the sorting and pre-treating we crank up the washer and dryer and wonder why our "large capacity" machines can't handle "more" of "Mount Washmore". I have been tempted to cram it full (I know, I know: the clothes don't get as clean when you overload…) until I hear that familiar "ka-thunk, ka-thunk, ka-THUNK," alerting me that something is out of balance and, if I don't go take care of it (pronto!), my washing machine may walk its unbalanced self into the next county.
I understand my washer because I feel unbalanced a lot of the time. This is not something that's easy for me to admit because I have spent a goodly portion of my adult life chasing this lofty and elusive concept called "balance". I have read books about it. I've listened to Bible studies about it. I have heard lots of talks at women's events concerning it. I have GIVEN talks at women's events outlining the "seven steps to achieving it". I even know a couple of women who seem to have mastered it.
But here's the absolute truth about it:
I'm giving up on it.
In fact, I'm not so sure that it was ever that great of a spiritual pursuit to begin with. There seems to be a lot of Scriptures you could interpret to be in support of it, but nothing that says, "Verily, verily, be ye balanced, sayeth the Lord." What we do find in God's word is a lot of Scripture concerning the subject of seasons. (planting, waiting, watering, working, weeding, harvesting, letting the ground rest ― then
starting the whole cycle over again). Some of those seasons require lots of work (planting, harvesting), some of them require less physical labor and more patience (weeding, watering, waiting), and some of them require periods of no visible activity at all (letting the ground rest so that it can be ready to plant again).
When you are in the middle of any one of those seasons it doesn't seem very "balanced." If you are in the week when you have to get the crops in or they will rot, you have to put in some strenuous days and nights because the window of opportunity is so small. If you took a snapshot of people feverishly working during that week, one might correctly say, "Well, that's not balanced at all!" Or if you look at a farmer resting by the fire in the dead of January you might think, "No balance there!" But it's a season.
Not all seasons carry the same work load or rest opportunities. They do all have their unique rhythms and it is up to us to recognize the beauty of each season and to know that it will, over the course of a lifetime, add up to something akin to "balance" – although we are unlikely to find it in a single day, or even a single week or month.
So I am praying for you, as I pray for my own self, the ability to recognize your season you are in and to stop beating yourself up because you can't quite get to the place of perfect balance every day. As the writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us, "To everything there is a season and a purpose for everything under Heaven."
Enjoying this season in my life,
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