Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Balancing Act

The Balancing Act

It was not about the number
But about the weight
Of the balls in my hands
As I did the balancing act;
Everything went smoothly
Until the weights changed
When one was not in the right proportion
The whole act failed;

I ask for the Spirit of Wisdom,
Understanding and Discernment
That I may know what tasks to balance
And know what proportion they should be;
May I not take on
More than what I can bear
Lest tomorrow I be broken
By things that make no sense;

I open my heart and whole
To Your Sweet Counsel
That has never failed me
But has kept me on the straight path;
Teach me, Oh Lord
The Balancing Act
And The Balancing Art
And the meaning of Moderation.

The Inspiration
Miriam was the head usher in church. Ever since she found God, she was so thrilled that she decided to give all her time to God. She was in church day in day out. She cleaned the church, she trained new intakes to her department, she fasted and prayed. Ever since she found God, she stopped cooking for her husband, she stopped taking care of the children and she stopped working. When her son was involved in a fatal accident, she kept on praying. She never for one day looked at the boy. Fortunately she had an elder daughter who gave up everything to look after her brother (I think in this family they know how to give up things to focus on one thing). And the girl vowed never to know God or go to church for she felt that was the cause of the neglect the family was going through. Before I go into the message for today, let me say something here. As a child of God, you are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven [Matthew 5:14; 16]. You have the primary assignment of going into the world to preach the Good News [Mark 16:15]. People should not reject God because of you. Back to my illustration. Giving all your time to God is different from giving all of yourself to God. On thinking about what had happened to that family, I wondered, “When people say children of some Men of God are bad, could it be that the men of God spend so much time with God that they forget their families?” It is not an easy task juggling the work of God with other things. Maybe that’s why Paul advises that it is good for a man not to marry since an unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs [1 Corinthians 7: 1; 32].

Sammy is someone passionate about whatever he is doing. He is result-oriented. He likes challenges. He is motivated by achievement. The company called him a high-flyer. His wife called him a workaholic. His children knew him as someone who gave their mother money. The Teacher said, “So what do people get in this life for all their hard work and anxiety? Their days of labor are filled with pain and grief; even at night their minds cannot rest. It is all meaningless. So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are from the hand of God. For who can eat or enjoy anything apart from me? God gives wisdom, knowledge, and joy to those who please him…” [Ecclesiastics 2:22-25]. I remember one evening when we lost a staff. The next morning he was replaced and work continued. I realized that we are not that indispensable. Things would still go on without us. It is only our purpose on earth that cannot go on without us because it is unique to each and every one of us. Nevertheless, whatever you have to do, please do it diligently.

Maxwell is a lover of life. He is sociable. He is the heart of the party. All his days are vacations. His mother calls him lazy. His father calls him his mother’s son. One day he opened his eyes to realize that time and chance had happened to him but they all passed him by. But then the Teacher had said, “I said to myself, ‘Come on, let’s try pleasure. Let’s look for the ‘good things’ in life.” But I found that this, too, was meaningless… Anything I wanted, I would take. I denied myself no pleasure…” [Ecclesiastics 2:1, 10-11]. And he concluded that it was all meaningless.

Everything seemed to contradict themselves. Should we not give all of our time to God? (Now, if this is your calling, there is absolutely nothing wrong with giving all of your time to God. A call from God should be obeyed to the letter). Should we not work to make a living? Should we not seek pleasure, vacations and enjoy ourselves? Why did the Teacher say it was meaningless? I wondered and pondered. God is faithful. HE answers. I was discussing one day about something entirely different from this and I was told, “Do things in moderation”. I had read that word ‘Moderation” somewhere in the Bible, you know sometimes we just read the Bible like novel not knowing we should meditate on it day and night. So I asked, “What do you mean by do things in moderation?” Obviously it means to do things moderately, but I needed to understand that word because God was talking to me through him.

My spirit is excited as I want to share the meaning of “Moderation” with you. The Oxford Advanced Learner’s dictionary defines “Moderation” as “The quality of being reasonable and not being extreme”. Then I remembered the Word of God, which HE spoke many months ago concerning my wondering and pondering on everything that was said to be meaningless. It says, “Let your moderation be known to all men” [Philippians 4:5]. The Lord was simply telling me, “Be reasonable in all you do, do not do things in extremity.” While I was yet thinking about today’s message, I had already taken days off just to be like Maxwell (because some people say I behave like Sammy). That explains why you have not been seeing posts on the blog in a while.

Beloved Child of God, are you living your life in extremity? Are you chasing after the wind? Has anyone hinted you that you don’t have a life? Or are you doing great with the balancing act? The balancing of God, Family and Work (in that order of priority)? You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you [Philippians 4:13]. Let your moderation be known to all men. You do not need to go to the extreme to prove your point.
Remain blessed and enjoy the rest of your day.

1 comment:

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