Balance and moderation are buzz words for our culture. On one hand balance sounds good, like a well-balanced meal or a perfectly balanced cooking knife (this makes a big difference). Carrying a heavy load is easier when it is well balanced in your arms or on your back. Carrying a light load that is out of balance can be very tricky.
On the other hand balance is precarious. Imagine walking that tightrope wobbling back and forth as you attempt to stay in balance. The philosophy of balance is that there is a sweet spot in life where everything comes together in harmony. When you find the right balance it is said to get easier, which sounds great, so why not seek balance? Ephesians 4 says the cunnings of man will sway us back and forth like waves caused by the shifting wind. Try finding balance in that!
Balance isn’t by definition a bad thing. When our life is perceived to be in balance, we might feel more comfortable or less stressed. But pursuing balance too easily replaces other important goals in life and can limit our impact. The solution the Bible provides is not seeking balance but finding beauty in the tension and trials of life.
If we have a firm foundation, we don’t need balance.
The answer Scripture provides is not one of finding a perfect balance; rather it is recognizing that the devil and our desires will constantly knock us off balance. The trials of life, illness, relationships, finances, etc. will quickly and unexpectedly send troubles our way. I am imagining the show Wipeout! where the entire purpose of the show is to cause people to have spectacular falls so those watching can laugh. Slippery surfaces, projectiles launched at you while you try to balance, shifting and spinning surfaces are all common occurrences.
With life and the devil there are no boundaries. Family, friends, finances, faith, future will all be attacked and attack us back. If we are trying to balance all these things and these things in balance is what we seek, we will be an easy target for the devil. If our focus is on balancing, then we won’t focus on Jesus.
Jesus provides the foundation that ensures stability in the midst of tension. Colossians 1 says that in Jesus all things hold together. Jesus is the glue that provides stability. He is the firm foundation and the harbor from the storm. In Jesus we can walk on water and redeem evil things to make them good. With our eyes and life focused and rooted in Jesus we can attempt new things that would normally knock us off balance. In Jesus we find strength in being out of control because then we are under His mercy.
Faith and life find their true strength when we are off balance, when we let go and land firmly in God’s grasp. God calls us to step off the land into the raging world around us and assures us as we do so we will not lose our footing. In Christ we are balanced. We have certainty that we will not fall, and we can embrace the tensions, the raging storms and still have peace. In fact we will have more peace than if we lived our whole life pursuing balance.