"Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion (in fierce hunger), seeking someone to seize upon and devour."
-- 1 Peter 5:8 (AMP)
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All the world watched, as the greatest act of balance and agility took place.
Onlookers, gasped, prayed and praised as they intently observed the man on the tight rope perform one of the greatest and most difficult balancing acts in history -- walking over the great canyon with its enormous height and length.
I think about the countless hours of practice and concentrated focus that made this amazing feat of perfect balance a dream come true. Jesus taught us to seek and find balance in our lives.
We've been instructed to eat well-balanced, to keep a healthy balance in our work, activities, play and spiritual devotion. But perfect balance requires more than that. You may ask, as I once did, what is all this reference to balance about?
A key to a joyous, healthy life requires being well-balanced. When we get unbalanced anywhere, whether unmanaged emotions (i.e., fear, anger, discouragement), too much work vs. family or relational time, or little time spent on spiritual practices (prayer or Bible reading), lack of exercise, healthy eating or personal hygiene or wrong financial choices, we can open an area to the devil causing destruction.
Even in the spiritual and emotional area of love, we must stay balanced by showing mercy, grace and long-suffering with ourselves and others, yet, still confront and discipline in a loving manner, not getting out of balance in being unkind, rude or condemning.
When we take anything too far and extreme, it causes damage and destruction. Even a good thing can become bad if it's taken to an extreme. Eating is good for us, but if we overeat we can destroy our health. The workaholic misses out on the joy of relationships when they were blindsided due to a lack of balance between time spent on work and relationship.
The pleasure seeker desiring only to have fun to fulfill their own needs, destroys the joy of making someone else happy or the joyous reward self-discipline and self-worth work can bring. Financial ruin happens when people overspend or become too greedy.
Spiritual imbalance occurs not only from the lack of prayer, and study, but also from an abundance to the point that the individual isn't taking care of practical needs. Addictions of many kinds form as the demon of unbalance takes its toll.
There are times or seasons in our lives that things have to get a bit unbalanced -- ask any new mother caring for a newborn infant while she's trying to balance work, sleep, and caring for another, or a season of working overtime to pay off some bills.
Living a well-balanced lifestyle isn't easy, but the rewards are worth it. Asking God to show us where we are tipping the scale too much in one direction can help give us discernment to know when we're opening the door to destruction.
Like the man on the tightrope, perfecting our balance can help us develop patience, focus, and a dependence on God.
• Annettee Budzban is a Christian author, speaker, life coach and nurse. Join her for her presentation "Dream Big! Steps to Make Your Deams Realities" from 3-4 p.m. Saturday, July 13, at Panera Bread in Round Lake Beach. Conference is free. To ensure your seats email Annetteebudzban@aol.com