Many of us experience times when we feel life is out of control. We can’t understand how we seem to have less and less time for the things we know matter most. We find ourselves thinking about family and relationships when at work, and thinking about work when we are at home with family and friends. We often feel like we have forgotten to do something, or left some important matter unfinished.
All these feelings produce stress and anxiety that will in turn affect our work, relationships and focus. It becomes a vicious cycle that leaves us drained and feeling like we are just barely treading water. Much of the stress we feel at these times comes from realizing we hurried off this morning without taking care of the things we needed to do at home, only to find too many tasks at work to complete in one day. We leave our unfinished work at the end of the day as we crawl back home having missed that soccer practice, music recital, or helping the kids with homework. Dog tired, we choose to avoid things that need done until tomorrow, creating a cycle where all day and all night we feel guilty for how we seldom find ourselves in the right place with the right amount of time.
If you are in this chaotic cycle you will probably agree that your life is completely out of balance. The bad news is that the new job you have your eye on, that long-planned vacation, or even your retirement date, won’t fix what is wrong if you wake up the next day having never addressed the real problem. The temptation to react to life instead of living directed lives will not go away because we change our scenery.
Daniel Harkavy wrote, “We fool ourselves if we think balance means giving equal attention to everything in our lives. Balance is giving not equal but appropriate attention to each of the various categories of your life.”
While that quote may feel right to most of us, few know how to make the transformative changes in their lives to find that kind of balance. Most people need help, never seek it, and (as a result) never find the kind of balance that helps them experience God’s joy they instinctively know is part of His plan.
A coach, a mentor, a guide, or a tutor in life planning can help us find that kind of balance. What such a helper can bring is a system you can adapt to apply the appropriate amount of time and energy to each area of your life, making you more fruitful and fulfilled. In this process you won’t be throwing out large pieces of responsibility unless they are truly unnecessary, or truly not yours to carry. What you will be doing is accepting that God has promised each of His children two very key things:
- 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
- Romans 15:13 (NIV) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
You see, living a life of chaotic imbalance is not impossible to overcome, we just need to find the way out of the chaos and the path to balance. This is a spiritual struggle for sure, because when caught in the chaos we don’t experience promise #2. When living a life of chaotic imbalance we cannot experience God’s hope, joy and peace, because we aren’t trusting in Him. We experience the exact opposite by reacting to the chaos, and therefore are living outside God’s perfect will. God’s will may not include all butterflies and puppy dogs, but we can be assured His path for our lives is not chaotic and burdensome.
Jesus calls us away from our chaotic lives: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28–30 (NIV)
If you find yourself caught in chaos and know your time, efforts, and energies are out of balance, prayerfully consider seeking help from someone who can help you chart a path towards blessing. None of us who coach others can perform miracles, but we can help you lift your eyes off the chaos, and focus on the blessings God has available. His blessings are there if we’ll do the work required to find His balance that leads to a life filled with hope, joy, and peace.
Romans 15:13 (NIV) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.