Remember riding on the teeter-totter when you were young? A friend who was bigger than you sometimes leaned back on the other end, holding you captive up in the air. At first you just laughed a little, then you tried bouncing in an attempt to get down, then you got frustrated, and maybe you had to resort to yelling, crying or threats before the bully let you back down. Sometimes the friend was nice and just pushed off the ground so the two of you could resume the pleasant up and down rhythm of the teeter-totter – but once in a while someone would get off the seat abruptly (usually while you had your legs up on top of the board, relaxing) and you would come down with a hard jolt to the ground. You have the most fun on the teeter-totter when two people of the same size are riding it; noone can bully the other, and the experience is an enjoyable one.
Over the last few months, the word “balance” keeps coming to my mind, and the image of a teeter-totter can help us visualize a healthy sense of balance in our lives.
We don’t have to have a perfectly balanced life. If we were to just stay in one place on the teeter-totter, balancing across from our friend, things may get a bit boring. Life can get stale, too, if things never change at all. The ups and downs of life can make life interesting and can be a reminder to keep running to God to keep us faithful even in the hard times. There are times, however, when we let too many responsibilities and pressures pile up on the other end of our “teeter-totter”, and if we aren’t careful we can find ourselves stuck. We just feel a bit uneasy at first, then we get frustrated and upset when we realize just how desperate our situation is. We can get so fed up with all of the pressures that we are willing to do just about anything to get down.
If we give up all of our activities suddenly, we can come down with a jolt. However, if we gradually get rid of some excess activities, our lives can be more balanced and much less stressful.
Maybe we can’t give up enough of our activities to achieve balance in our lives. It may not be possible while we have many young children, a home to manage, a husband to love and care for, and various other responsibilities calling for our attention. God can add his “weight” to ours and will help us achieve balance in our lives, even when it seems like all of the items on the other end of our teeter-totter weigh ten times as much as we do. Get rid of excess activities, pray for strength to maintain balance in the responsibilities you have now, and make sure you enjoy the ride!
© Robyn Mulder 1998, therobynsnest.org