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The Life Balance Myth and What You Can Do About it

When your life balance is teetering, spiraling, fluctuating, and doing whatever it does for creating unbalanced realities, prayer to the one who restores should be our first action.

Balance, life balance in particular, is something I am personally pondering during most of my days. It’s something I’m always aspiring toward and am always hoping to achieve for many reasons.

Yet balance, life balance in particular, eludes me.

I have pursued it in many ways. I’ve attempted to create a formula. Like many people, I have kept a journal hoping to analyze it and fix everything that’s out of whack. When nothing else is working, I attempt mental exercises.

Still, none of it works. So I do what I always do when I have no other options: I pray for life balance.

And then it dawns on me: the idea of continuous and harmonious life balance is a myth. So let’s explore why that is and how we should be responding to it.

Life Balance is NOT Equal Attention

Balance only happens in dynamic tension. Balance is giving not equal but appropriate attention to each of the various categories of your life. -Michael Hyatt in Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want

I read — and re-read — this quote while reading Michael Hyatt’s Living Forward. Many people, prompted by many secular images pointing to the notion of balance, take it to consider balance being equal weighting. We put so much emphasis on symmetry and evenness. Our buildings must be square and our portraits must be hung to be be perfectly level.

We even make instruments – aptly called a level – to make sure everything is operating evenly.

That’s well in good until a wind comes rumbling, a kid comes tumbling, and other events unquares, unlevels and knocks everything unbalanced. This is true also in life.

Career. Religion. Family. Service. Diet. Social Life. Hobbies. The list is virtually endless. And it’s different for everyone. We all have priorities and there is an unrealistic expectation that we have to evenly dedicate time and resources to each one of them.

That’s not so. Life balance requires us to remember where it is we aspire and then give the PROPER attention to each category for helping us get there.

Life balance, then, is not the aspiration. It’s the fuel for propelling us toward the aspiration.

When our life balance is moving toward unbalanced realities, prayer to the one who restores should always s be our very first action.

When our life balance is moving toward unbalanced realities, prayer to the one who restores should always s be our very first action.

Life Balance Requires Constant Creating

Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create.
– Jana Kingsford, UNJUGGLED: Lessons From a Decade of Blending Business, Babies, Balance and Big Dreams

My every effort to find life balances is always being met with varying degrees of success. Yet, momentary periods of life balance always evolves into unbalanced realities.

Those unbalance realities create stress. And, you may not believe this, stress is a requirement of growth. Therefore, unbalance is a necessity of life and success. In fact, if everything were in perfect life balance, we’d shift into complacency. Balance would destroy self-reflection, personal growth and progress in general.

That’s why we must encounter, endure and experience the stresses of unbalance. It’s a prerequisite of progress.

The Wisdom of Balance

And then he prayed, “God, I’m asking for two things
   before I die; don’t refuse me—
Banish lies from my lips
   and liars from my presence.
Give me enough food to live on,
   neither too much nor too little.
If I’m too full, I might get independent,
   saying, ‘God? Who needs him?’
If I’m poor, I might steal
   and dishonor the name of my God.”

Proverbs 30:8-9 (MSG)

The wise writer of this proverb, Solomon,  seeks a middle ground. His twofold request is asking God to keep him in a “safe zone” free of temptation and he is seeking his “daily bread” as is appropriate for his stage in life.

The first request is motivated by a desire to be free of sin.

The second request is motivated by a desire for humility. Solomon sought neither wealth nor poverty. Both conditions bring their own problems, all of which contain the potential to steal attention from God. These were personal challenges the King wanted to avoid.

It’s sort of like extreme temperatures. Both hot and cold, at their extremes, are dangerous to life. So too are the extremes of materialism.

A life rooted in wisdom, when it comes to seeking a proper life balance should, therefore, not go to prayer as a last resort. When your life balance is teetering, spiraling, fluctuating, and doing whatever it does for creating unbalanced realities, prayer to the one who restores should be our first action.

When ideal life balance moves toward unbalanced reality, prayer should be our first action. Click To Tweet

About Chad Gramling

Chad Gramling makes his home in Indiana with his wife and three daughters. He’s the founder and primary blogger at 1Glories, a vision cast onto his heart and detailed in Listen Up Kids: Foolish Dreams, Syncing with God & Running to Win.