I keep coming back to this idea of a balanced life. We have so many demands on us in our culture. There is the culturally acceptable idea that we must always be busy.. that somehow our significance comes from our accomplishments. Then there is the idea among Believers that we must be emotionally available to everyone who needs us. We also have the prevailing cultural view that we need to go to a gym or somewhere daily to be in good physical shape… eat a particular way in order to be healthy. Add to that the ideal of spending time reading the Bible and praying every day and you have a full life.
The question for me is “what does a healthy balanced life look like? ” I’ve arrived at some conclusions over the last year. Too much activity is deadly. Time alone is absolutely necessary. Eating too much and too fast is unhealthy. It is not possible to be emotionally available to everyone who needs something. I don’t need to go anywhere but outside my front door to exercise..by walking. Sometimes I cannot read the Bible or any other book or pray. God understands this and is fine with it. His grace is enough.
So what does a balanced, holistic life look like? Living daily with our Great God, taking care of our bodies, pacing ourselves, and rejoicing in His goodness.
” Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”
We live in a world that doesn’t think holistically. We become convinced that each part of us operates separately. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are complex beings…If we are unhealthy in one area, it will overflow into another.
Unless we come to terms with our emotional struggles and invest time (and energy) in learning how to deal with them.. they will grow into physical struggles. Our body will tell us that we are not doing well..that we need to stop and examine our livestyle and our levels of stress. We can run to the doctor and get a diagnosis and possibly medication, ignoring the underlying issues… if we ignore our emotions and stop growing.. we may stop moving forward spirtually..
Growth in one area.. leads to growth and freedom in other areas. God created us this way. He made us feelers, thinkers, and believers. He designed us so our hearts, minds, bodies, and spirits would all need attention.. Unfortunately we get a very limited view of this because we separate ourselves into compartments.. we act as though we are only our feelings or only our bodies and we miss out on the healthy life that God intends for us. The same thing happens when we over- spiritualize.. everything is not a spiritual issue. We need discernment to realize all this and God is ready to give that to us if we ask.
He gave His Holy Spirit to us for such a time as this.. to help us navigate this complicated world and to give us answers that will enable us to live fully while we are here.
Jesus said this in John 16:
“I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t handle them now. But when the Friend comes, the Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is. He won’t draw attention to himself, but will make sense out of what is about to happen and, indeed, out of all that I have done and said. He will honor me; he will take from me and deliver it to you. “