Imbalance. I think if we’re honest, we all struggle with it in some fashion. I know I never seem to have enough time to do all the things I think I need to do. This imbalance leaves us tired, stretched thin, frustrated, etc. Being an ideas person, I thought this was just how my life was supposed to go. However, a brief conversation with my pastor turned the very idea of balance on its ear when he asked, “What is balance? I mean, what does balance mean and is it Biblical?”
What is balance? This question had me reeling, because I knew that I couldn’t define it. Balance falls in the category of words like normal and regular. They are all words used as Valium to the soul. They are meant to tranquilize hearts meant to be fierce and bold. They are the shrink wrap applied to our non-uniform selves. Balance is but a means of drawing us from our God-intended pursuits. Jesus never intended for His life to be balanced and neither should we.
What does balance mean? You’d think that I could describe to you what balance means, but other than a physics definition, I’m stumped. I cannot tell you what a balanced life looks like. Pardon me, but to be honest, it sounds like Utopian hell. It sounds like a scene out of any movie that falls in this genre and we all know how those end. To take a shot at it, balance means sedate, lackluster, stagnant, boring. Even this is a poor definition, but I think this is the point to terms not intended in a certain context.
Is balance Biblical? By the time my pastor had reached this question, I was running for the trenches. However, in that moment of panic (I hate being told I’m wrong), I knew enough to answer, “No,” flatly. But why isn’t it Biblical? My mind racing sputtered out, “Because following Christ is a headlong pursuit.” He told me to think about it and left me to my thoughts which then percolated like a south Pacific tsunami in the middle of Summer. I don’t remember the fifteen minute walk home.
Imbalance is key. The Bible is fraught with people living horribly imbalanced lives. However, what is balance? Likening life to the solar system, when the sun is at its center, everything is balanced perfectly. Why should life not resemble this with God as our sun? Why should God not be our central and sole pursuit? Isn’t that how we were designed in the first place? Just look at the Garden. Until the apple, God was Adam and Eve’s only concern in life. This doesn’t work, you say? Tell me, how doesn’t it?
When Jesus sought disciples, He only told them to come follow Him. There were no mentions of splitting time or creating harmony in life. Balance is a word that over time, we’ve decontextualized to refer to an ideal lifestyle. In fact, Revelations speaks of God spitting out the lukewarm, which is what balance is really. Balance means whatever we want it to mean, but in the context of life, it has no intrinsic meaning. There isn’t any basis for this in the Christian lifestyle. The Christian life is one sold out completely for God. It is a single-minded pursuit that prioritizes based on our individual callings and gifts. It serves the Father at all times. Maybe I’ve taken this too far and I’m the imbalanced one. Ask yourselves and then respond, are we called to live a life of “imbalance?”