Longing For Balance
For many of us, the New Year arrives and brings with it the obligatory resolutions that we feel we need to make. We know we could do better in some areas of our lives, and the New Year provides this new slate on which to write a new and better chapter in our lives. Some of us vow to lose weight, exercise, spend more quality time with family or friends, and the list goes on. This year, I am making an intentional effort to purge unneeded and unwanted things from our home in an effort to live in a simpler way. In the last several years we have accumulated many things with the passing of our parents, and we now feel ready and able to let some things go.
In an effort to help with this process, my daughter encouraged me to watch the Netflix series Tidy your space-Transform your life with Marie Kondo. With some hesitation (thinking “how can this really help?”), I did finally sit down, viewed a few episodes and was pleasantly surprised. The KonMari method was easy, practical in its approach and provided a sense of satisfaction for me because some of the techniques she suggested I already practice. Needless to say, each episode concluded with that WOW factor. The physical change was evident and drastic for most of the homeowners. Many couples commented after the process was complete that the real accomplishment was not only a well-organized house but the sense of freedom that accompanied it. Couples now became aware of this freedom from stuff that unknowingly took up their time, energy and, for some, placed an unnecessary strain on relationships and even finances.
As I began to think about Marie’s tidying movement, if you will, I began to view it in a much broader context. I believe many are drawn to this process more for the desire for transformation, a need to reevaluate what is truly important to them, as well as a deep longing to regain a sense of equilibrium in their lives. I recently read a book by Kathy Hendricks titled “Seeking Spiritual Balance in an Off–Kilter World.” Her book speaks to the situation that many find ourselves; we live our lives in the midst of a three-ring circus, constantly adding to our juggling act until we can’t keep everything in the air any longer. We have lost our sense of balance, and we know it! Throughout the book, she encourages her readers to intentionally determine what they may let go of to live a more balanced, peace-filled life.
I think it is safe to say we all want lives that are fulfilling, life-giving and fruitful – not just for ourselves but for others as well. If this is in fact true, we must make an intentional effort to declutter our lives. I think we as a culture have convinced ourselves that busy is better. It is difficult to find valid reasoning for this when so many studies tell us that more individuals are stressed and depressed than ever before. For our own well -being it is time to slow down, breathe, take inventory of what stays and what can be let go.
As Christians, we need go no further than the New Testament to help us with this process. Look at the life of Christ. He is our model. His life was one of balance. Let him be your guide. If you choose to begin to discern what you might let go of, I encourage you to begin with the account of Martha and Mary. We might ask ourselves why Jesus tells Martha that Mary has chosen the better part.