Balance vs. Tension
Many people might say, “Oh you need more balance in your life - with your faith, family, & work.” Or you might have heard the phrase of having a “work-life balance.” But the more I have grown in my own walk with the Lord, the more I have come to realize that life isn’t about having balance, it’s about finding the rhythm of the season and holding the tension.
So y’all have probably seen or have used a scale of some kind, right? If you are trying to measure two things at once and you’re trying to match them at the same weight, that is very difficult to do! It is very precise and very hard to maintain. If I were to try and perfectly balance my church responsibilities, time with my family and friends, and my daytime job responsibilities, I would fail every time.
This is because our lives aren’t about having balance, they are about finding the rhythm and holding the tension.
Find the rhythm & Keep the rhythm
It’s one thing to find the rhythm, but it’s another thing to KEEP the rhythm! It’s our responsibility to not only find the rhythm God has given us, but to also keep in line with that rhythm. Growing up, I played the viola which is a stringed instrument. For any of you who are musicians and grew up learning an instrument, you know that the first thing you learn is rhythm. Not the key, not the notes, not the positions - the rhythm. Because if you can’t get the rhythm right, then nothing else matters. You’re not only going to throw yourself off, but everyone else you’re playing with. And when you are off - it’s terrifying. You are freaking out because you can’t find your place and you can’t get back on and so you just stop. Same is true with life.
If you learn how to keep in line with the rhythm God has set for your life, you will feel so much at peace, and you will surprise yourself with how far you can go.
Waiting on the Lord
More challenging than keeping the rhythm of the season you’re in can be holding the tension of what you are waiting on God for that has not yet come to pass. Just like the strings of an instrument - if you do not tighten the strings on your instrument to keep the tension, they will become floppy and/or very out of tune. Rhythm may be number one, but staying in tune is definitely the second most important! If you have a bad attitude about the season you are in, then it doesn’t matter how well you do in the midst of hardship - you still won’t produce the fruit and character that is needed for you to truly grow and “sing the song” of divine purpose God has placed over your life.
The person who practiced living in step with the Father best was Jesus himself. He was never rushed, yet never too slow to act. He was not impatient in waiting for his moment to arrive. He held onto the tension of what he wanted, yet also what he knew he needed to wait on the Lord to fulfill. He still prepped, pursued, and actively waited until the perfect time when his Father told him it was his turn. Jesus knew early on that the purpose he was brought to earth for was not going to be fulfilled until years later. So what did he do in the meantime? Did he just wait around wasting time until his Father said to start his ministry? No. Jesus studied, learned, and “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man” (Luke 2:52). He saw every opportunity as a chance to honor his Father. Whether that be serving his mother, excelling in school, or building a house, everything he did in that seemingly mundane part of life prepared him for what was to come: Confronting Pharisees about their hypocrisy, building shelters for him and his disciples as they were traveling, and serving the least of these.
Nothing is wasted by God.
It might have been uncomfortable holding the tension of what he longed for and what was not yet to be, but he knew he could trust that in due time, with tests and trials along the way, God would develop the character in him that he needed to sustain the calling God had on his life.
“...we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3a-5
So whatever new rhythm you are trying to grab a hold of this season, know that God’s grace is sufficient for you (2 Corinthians 12:9). The best way to learn a new song is to study the music and to listen and watch the conductor. Same is true in your life: the best way to learn new rhythms of life is to read and study the Word of God and to listen to His voice. As you do, embrace it. Learn. Grow. Hold the tension. And in time, you’ll look back and see how every part of your life comes together to create a beautiful masterpiece.
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