Balance has a rhythm of give and take. Balance requires a personal awareness of one’s priorities, life mission, and season of purpose. Balance is not the same as busyness and balance reflects periods of rest and Sabbath.
In today’s blog, Illusion of Balance – Part 2, I would like to talk about balance and busyness. As a woman who thrives on motion, one would think I have both hands securely gripped to the balance wheel. But there are many times I personally struggle to decipher the difference between the motion of balance and the motion of busyness. The problem is busyness mirrors some of the same properties of balance but it is not the same. Even if you have the best of intentions, once you are in motion it is easy to get derailed from balance to busyness if you do not take the time to rest and reflect on where your life is going (Rest and Sabbath will be discussed in Part 3).
What is busyness?
Busyness is like one of those, “As seen on T.V.” products that promises everything but delivers nothing. Busyness promises productivity, meaning, accomplishment, success, and admiration, but delivers weariness, shame, disappointment, guilt, and brokenness. The Chinese pictograph for “busy” is composed of two characters: heart and killing.
How do we determine the difference between balance and busyness? Here are a few questions to consider as you examine your to-do list, commitment opportunities, and New Year’s goals:
1) What is my motivation for committing? (reward, guilt, future goals, safety, learning, relationship…)
2) Will this action moving me forward towards my goals?
3) Does this opportunity use the gifts and strengths that God has given me?
4) Does the work have intentionality or purpose?
5) Does the opportunity match my vision statement and season of life?
6) Has God clearly directed me to take this on?
7) Who else do I know that could give me wise council about making this decision?
As you consider these questions for your life, I would like to add one more principle of balance for you to consider, contentment.
It has been said: “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you” (Lao-Tzu). When you examine the corners of your heart, you will find the true difference between balance and busy – contentment or killing.
I choose balance, what about you?