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The Balance Trap

November 12, 2012

The goal of a balanced life may seem like a noble goal—an orderly life in which our various responsibilities and priorities get their due attention.  Work, partner, children, friends, home, health, God…all balanced on our steady and fulfilled shoulders.


This was one of the goals I set for myself in my final year of seminary.  I wanted to build the habits that would sustain such a life as I entered professional ministry.  By the end of that year, I had discarded the image of “balance” all together.  Trying to balance everything, made me feel like a tightrope walker or a flaming torch juggler or some other circus act.  While I do have multiple responsibilities and multiple roles, I only have the one me.  The balancing act seemed to require I pretend otherwise.


Then, one day, a professor passed on some wisdom he had once heard.  Jesus was not balanced.  Jesus was focused, centred, grounded, whole.  But not balanced.  Everything he did was rooted in who he was and who God was; everything he did was done with his whole self.  I felt a wave of relief wash over me as I released the idea that I needed to be balanced and embraced the idea that I needed to be whole.  Being whole is not necessarily easier—but it feels much healthier.


I am many things to many people but I believe that I am my best when all those things are present all the time.  I am a better priest when I am not trying to pretend I am not also a mother and a wife and a friend and a body—and that holds true no matter which role is taking precedence at the moment.  God calls us to live out of the fullness in which we were created and to direct everything we do so that it reflects the love of God and the vision of a world where everyone is free to enjoy the abundant life God wishes for us all.


May you find wholeness and peace, in your lives and in your selves

One Comment leave one →
  1. chezelizabeth permalink
    November 12, 2012 10:40 am

    So happy to read this again! I may have to print it out for a daily dose.

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