The rain is coming down in sheets outside, strange warm December weather that had me driving home from Zumba with the windows open. The fog has rolled in over the fields for a week straight, determined to stay despite the sun’s best efforts to chase it away. In a few months – weeks, even – we’ll all be bundled back up against the cold and the snow, but right now we’re settling in for a season of “unseasonably mild.”
And somehow it all has me thinking about balance. If the sunrise’s don’t inspire me, the workouts will. And somehow it’s all coming together this week with the same message: balance requires tension.
When it comes to the weather I’m appreciating that we can’t enjoy the beauty of a winter wonderland if we don’t have warm weather to oppose it. God created specific seasons for specific reasons, and there is a tension that exists between hot and cold that works perfectly to bring a timely harvest.
In working out I’m learning that in order to balance well, I need to have tension in my muscles to stay firm on my feet. Balance isn’t about letting go of everything or just hoping everything will turn out well. It takes focus, it takes a certain amount of slowing down, and it takes tension.
How often do I skip all three of those in my day-to-day life and then wonder why everything feels so…off balance? Where I should be succeeding I’m stumbling, and where I should stand firm, I wobble. When my mind isn’t focused on a solid, steady point – on the only One who never changes, I try to look everywhere at once and loose my balance.
When I’m speeding through my day and failing to stop and breath deeply into the moments God puts before me, my momentum propels me in the wrong direction. And when I avoid tension in order to keep a false sense of security and peace, I stand for nothing.
It is impossible to get through a day without some sort of tension – with kids, a spouse, a co-worker, yourself. But how we choose to react to tension will either send us spiraling through our day or standing solid, and balanced. Maybe the holidays will cause you to face all three: focus, slowness, tension. How will you face them? Will you slow down to see the beauty of Advent, the time of waiting, for what it truly is – or will you rush through and hope for the best? What if, this Christmas season, we chose to embrace:
Focus – to dedicate time each day to meeting with God in the Word, to set our intention for the day on Him and His promises for us.
Slowness – to slow down and choose to see the remaining days of the Christmas season as a time to make memories, not simply cross off packed to-do lists.
Tension – to settle into the tension of expectant waiting.
Maybe we would discover the secret of balance – that it IS possible, but it may not look like we expected, or be as comfortable as we’d hoped. It might take more work than we thought, but in the end, what kind of harvest will we produce for the Kingdom when we intentionally create lives of holy balance?