Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Finding the Unbalanced Center

I'm pretty much as uncoordinated as they come. Dancing means sticking two fingers up in the air and kind of...well, you know, dancing! Steve hates to walk beside me, because I'm always pushing him into a snow bank, or off a curb, or into oncoming traffic. I blame it on the fact that I never crawled; my mom blames it on the day (at three months old) I rolled off the bed head first into a garbage can...she claims she did not take a picture with my feet kicking in the air, but I bet someday I'll find it!
And honestly, this unbalanced-ness (new word...) follows me from my feet to my head. So I do what all of you do...try to balance it. You've read the books--how to regain control of your life; don't let work overwhelm you...take a walk in the park; get on that tightrope and get yourself balanced. So, I do the best I can...okay, I've spent two hours working, now I need to spend two hours with my kids. I've volunteered at the school; now I need to spend some time writing a sermon. I've talked to my mom on the phone, now I need to go grocery shopping. I've eaten an entire chocoate chip cookie covered in frosting, so I need to spend three (okay thirteen) hours on the treadmill.
Here's the thing--don't buy the books! Being balanced is literally a bunch of crap! Not only is it virtually impossible, but getting there would probably kill you. Damn, the scale's tipping more towards self-care, I better go play with my kids; too much time spent on this week's sermon, I better say amen, and get to grocery shopping. Two extra minutes spent with Steve, my poor congregation isn't getting their fair share.
I overhead my sis-in-law teaching Evelyn some yoga poses the other day, and she was trying to balance (go figure) on one leg. But, instead of telling her simply to hold her arms out and balance, she told her to look at one object in front of her and stay focused...there's a name for it (Lora, if you're reading, what is it?!?!). Anyway, so to stay balanced (or in my case to forget being balanced altogether) focus on one thing...focus on one thing....
So, what if instead of being balanced, we're focused...we're centered? What if, instead we take all those things we're supposed to do: writing sermons, tucking kids in, going to text study, making dinner, taking a nap...what if we gathered all those things and did them while centered on...centered in Jesus--in the only One who makes all those other things actually matter. What if instead of wondering if I'm doing everything good enough, or balanced enough...that instead of living overwhelmed with guilt and "I'll never get it all done-ness," we simply lived lives centered in Jesus.
And, honestly, I'm not sure exactly what this looks like. Because at this point I'm not balanced, focused, or centered! I run around trying to get everything done; I feel guilty for what I don't do, guilty for I do; I think I work too much or work too little. But, you know what I want? I want to be content; I want to be the woman that God created me to be--one living deeply centered in the One who created me. I pray that for each one of you, and I ask you--how today might you live centered in Jesus? Maybe our good Lutheran answer would be--you live in Jesus, because Jesus lives in you.
Shalom, my friends...


  1. Sorry I didn't answer sooner. Behind on my blog reading.

    The focal point is your dristi (not entirely sure how to spell that, but that's what it sounds like). Find a non-moving item to look at it, focus with a soft gaze (not eagle-eyed intensity), breathe. The point is not to be perfect, but to be in the moment.

    If yoga could give me anything, I wish it could give me more time "in the moment." Because it's bad enough to be busy and torn between work, family, etc. But then there's the inevitable fact that I'm not being as effective as I could be at any of it because I'm constantly multi-tasking. So I'm distracted when working and not as focused as I should be in conversation with people I care about.

    Maybe balance isn't about keeping all proverbial plates spinning, but more about being present in the moments that life offers.

    You know... you could do a whole sermon on the dristi. Find your stable point (like, maybe I don't know, GOD?), focus on it, but don't glare at it (strive to increase your understanding of God's Word and have a little faith when it's not all that clear) and breathe. Just be. You're enough in God's eyes, even when you topple out of your Tree pose.