Are you like me and find yourself tempted to measure a good day like a recipe? When you lay your head down at night, do you go through a list and hope to find the correct portions of the right ingredients to create the perfect day?
Maybe it looks something like this (depending on your season of life):
30 minutes of quality time in the Word
45 minutes of high-impact cardio
20 minutes of breakfast and family devo time
25 minutes of a peaceful commute to work while listening to Christian podcast or music
8 hour productive work day—completing all deadlines
30 minutes of dinner prep while helping kids do homework
45 minutes family dinner and conversation
1 hour of bath and bedtime routine with kids
30 minutes of catch-up with spouse
7.5 glorious hours of uninterrupted sleep
Mix together = a balanced day
Fellow brothers and sisters, can we admit that while we know a day rarely looks like this, we poison ourselves with the pressure that it should? I, for one, admit that I place this recipe in the forefront of my mind every day. And each day, I am disappointed when I don’t have a perfectly balanced day!
Frankly, I’ve decided the word balance is simply a loaded word.
What do I mean by that? “Loaded” language attempts to influence us by manipulating our emotions or stereotypes. For example, does the word balance evoke emotions in you—deficiency, inadequacy, or stress? Do you think of stereotypes when you think of balance? Do you picture the stay at home mom who has four kids, is in amazing shape, and has a successful side business? Or the man who runs triathlons, has three degrees and a great job, coaches his son’s all-star team, and serves his church as a deacon?
Step back for a minute and think about who influences us through our emotions and stereotypes. Who lies to us, steals our joy, and makes us feel like we’ll never add up? Sound familiar? The Bible tells us the Enemy prowls around like a roaring lion seeking anyone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). If you are caught up in the lies of “balance,” consider yourself being stalked by the Enemy—the ultimate liar.
Instead, seek to be obedient in what you are called to do—ministry, parenting, home keeping, etc. But remember these promises: (1) We cannot do it all. (2) We can do nothing in our own strength. Call upon the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you in all that you do. Hang up the word balance and trade it in for grace. Your Heavenly Father loves you and you are affirmed in Him—forever. Even if your daily recipe doesn’t create a perfectly balanced day, know that His sufficiency is all you need.
And dear ones, that is enough to simply say thank you and fall asleep peacefully.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you. 2 Corinthians 13:13 (HCSB)