Do you remember when every other book was about balance? Work/life balance. Zen this? Feng shui that? The 28 keys to a balanced life? I found it soooo enticing. I think many others did, too. Something about the ‘figure-it-out-ness’ of the idea was so…well, hopeful, I guess. That somewhere in all those words was a practical, easy, applicable solution that would make me happier than I was before.
The words change as years go by. Synergy, connectedness, multitasking, productivity. It seems nowadays if you want to really be on top of cooking, you find the recipe online, upload it to AmazonFresh, one-click pay for home delivery, open the recipe on your iPad with integrated timers enabled, prep, then turn on the oven with your smartphone while you’re still at work. Is that balance?
In the past 18 months, I have begun the process of embracing being wildly out of balance. The other day someone asked me what the pro/con spreadsheet for moving to Colorado looked like. I laughed out loud at the idea. I never made one. If I had, there would have been one single item in the pro column: God told us to. And basically every other thing you can think of would have been on the con side. We left our friends, support network, ministry connections, and family.
A good friend once said to me, “Walking with God will, at times, look to others like utter irresponsibility.” Controversial yet amazingly kind words from a man who has been there. “You’re moving WHERE?” To do WHAT?” But what about _____? But how will you _____? Fill in innumerous blanks. But let’s not confuse the appearance of irresponsibility with following God. Can you picture Noah’s neighbors? You’re doing WHAT? Abraham, you’re moving to WHERE? But you don’t even know the way! Jesus, why are we leaving town now? We’re just getting traction!
I’m certain that being out of balance with the world changes with age and family situation. I’m a man in my 30′s. I want to be wildly out of balance when it comes to my wife, my kids, my family time. If balance means getting the things and having the relationships the world offers, then I want nothing like balance. If balance means a measured, cautious, careful, planned approach to life and God, I don’t want it. I want to be head over heels out of balance in my walk with the Father, with Jesus, and with the Spirit. The best, most satisfying, fulfilling, impactful, disruptive, painful, growth-filled years of my life have been the ones I’ve spent off balance.