Balance — The Pivot of Life
“I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars.” — Og Mandino
I don’t think anyone loves darkness. Maybe some do but most of us love the light (think of Times Square at night). In as much as you do not like the dark, but you need the dark. Daytime is for work and night time is for rest. Rest is vital for recharging the body in order to be more productive the next day. Life is yin-yang; give and take; work and rest. We continually exist in this state of duality, as Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it, that makes us whole. More like, the duality that makes us balanced.
How do you feel when you see a great business mogul with a not so great family life or a famous star with a drug problem? In these examples, one thing was lacking…. balance. Success comes with its issues and responsibilities. Success comes with its fair share of weight that must be carried. If you cannot carry it, it will DESTROY you.
As humans, we function in many parts even though you are just one person. You are a mother, a father, a Rotary Club Member, an Ethiopian, a daughter, a son, a husband, an employee, a Christian, a brother, an uncle, a friend, etc. Even at this we still have our different needs…financial, matrimonial, spiritual, emotional, social etc. So how do we merge all these factions of ourselves and still function? This is where balance comes in.
We also need to meet our different commitments at different levels. Commitments to parents, siblings, friends, church, spouse and all these commitments have different requirements. In all these, I have seen the Word of God as the book that enables us to balance life.
· It tells us how to handle business, diligently;
· How to treat our wives, with love;
· How to handle our husbands, through submission,
· How to deal with our parents, with honour;
· How to handle our finances, entrust to God first;
· How to face life, with faith;
· How to care for our kids, with discipline and love.
As you can see, the list is endless. And sometimes the advice and commandment given is counter-intuitive. But to get the best out of it, the words must be adhered to by faith. Recall, that the just (the justified in Christ Jesus), must live by faith.
I once watched a documentary on Mike Tyson. The narrator of the TV piece said that the trainers of Tyson were busy developing the physical man but did not equip him with what it takes to face life and success. In other words, there was no balance. We all know how that ended.
The lives of men teach us what to do and what not to do. As King Solomon would say, ….I looked upon it, I pondered and I took to heart.
Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually]. — 3 John 2, Amplified Bible Translation.
As we grow financially, we need to grow spiritually. We need another level of knowledge to manage things at different stages of life. One dimensional growth and success is dangerous. It seduces smart men to think that they are failure proof. Success has its responsibility. We’ve seen people who used the money and success they got in life to “kill” themselves. Figuratively and literally.
The Word as Peter describes it, is “A Sure Word of Prophecy” meaning that as you’ve been instructed, so will it happen. The first step in achieving balance is to check up what the Word says concerning what you are doing, be it business, job or child grooming. I’m not innocent of a busy lifestyle but in the midst of this and that, a time set aside to set your priorities and stick to them is so needed even in these times.
No matter how busy you are, you set out a time to eat. Why ? Because it is important.
I remember a day where I couldn’t make it to work. I was at home for a good part of the day and all of a sudden I asked myself “Where did all this time come from?”. It actually occurred to me that I can deliberately make out time to cater for some personal needs. The truth of the matter is that in as much as your business needs you, it will always continue with or without you. As Stephen Covey once said “No man on his dying bed will wish he spent more time at work” this is no excuse for a lackadaisical approach to work/life but of the fact that you need balance. If family is important, then invest in it. A moving car applies breaks during its journey. Therefore, in as much as speed is required to reach your destination; brakes are ultra vital. It’s necessary to put a break once in a while in life and do what you really want to do.
Set out time for friends, time to read, time to socialize, time for your spouse, time for social activities, time for yourself because there’s a time for everything. There are times that stand out in my memory, the day my dad visited me in secondary school (Parents: it’s a worthwhile investment to go to your kids’ school functions), times spent with good friends, time spent writing etc.
Set time according to your priorities. If not, some other person will set the time for you. It might be the TV, your job etc. Simply put, if you do not define yourself for yourself, you’ll be eaten up by other people’s fantasy, the TV inclusive.
When balance eludes a man then he’s automatically signed in for fiasco. Let’s strive for balance in all we do.