The Secret Art Of Living Without Balance
Over the past 10 years I have often been asked this question: “how do you balance it all?”. Their reference I guess was life! Marriage, career, Church life, leadership responsibilities, kids, family, the list goes on. But if I am honest this question always irritated me and I found myself frustrated that I couldn't provide an articulate answer.
I remember giving birth to our second child who very kindly collided with one of the most intense and stretching seasons I had ever been in. Here is some context! Our daughter was born on a Friday, on the Sunday we launched double morning services in our Church and then we took on the leadership of another one of our locations in the city of Birmingham, an hour and a half away that Sunday night. So I came home from hospital on the Saturday and on Sunday we were GO…. well my husband was go, I was still in shock after my second experience of labour! (Seriously, how dramatic is that labour?!). It was in that season that I discovered why I had never been able to answer the question of balance.
Balance was never designed to be the goal.
Matthew 11:28 says “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
As I read these scriptures through that season I was struck with the effortlessness of the words; walk with me - learn the unforced rhythms - keep company with me - live freely and lightly. This is where I then discovered how to answer the question; “how do you balance it all?”. Quite simply, I don’t! I find my rhythm for the season I am in, and walk that rhythm out.
The secret of living in rhythm is the understanding that you are always out of balance. Take for instance walking, something we do every day without thinking about it, and yet the only way we ever get anywhere is by putting one foot in front of the other and letting our imbalance give us the momentum that moves us forward.
Balance speaks of equal measure in all areas of our lives but rhythm speaks of momentum.
Our lives as women were never designed to be balanced and proportioned out, our lives were designed to have momentum, movement, energy, force, strength to take ground.
Usain Bolt describes a 100m race as having 2 stages. The first 30m is referred to as the DRIVE PHASE - get out of the starting blocks head down, power forward, drive, drive, drive. He’s totally out of balance as his center of gravity moves forward and brings incredible momentum to his sprint. This however is followed by the STRIDE PHASE. Everything up to this point has been DRIVE, but then the transition comes and we now enter the stride phase where we begin to lift our head, stand tall and reach our top speed. Usain couldn’t reach his top speeds unless he had embraced the secret art of imbalance for that first 30 meters.
You may feel like your life right now is in that first 30 meters. But remember, within the race there is a change of rhythm coming and yet still a constant building of momentum.
Whatever season you are in know your rhythm, own it, whether it feels slow pace or fast, know this; you are building a great momentum.
About Beth Blois
Beth and her husband Colin are the lead pastors of Hope City Church in Sheffield. They have two children, Austin & Indie. Beth is known for her fresh and dynamic ministry, with a big tablespoon of humour.