It’s All About Balance
by April Osteen Simons
When I was about 10 years old, I got on my bike to ride to my friend’s house a few blocks away. Our street had houses that were on acre lots and all of the neighbors had dogs that were out in their front yards. Most of the dogs were friendly and didn’t bother you, but there was one that was not friendly at all. His name was Vonston. He had to be chained up in his yard because he was mean. He barked at everyone who rode or walked by. Even though he looked and sounded ferocious, I never worried about old Vonston. I knew he couldn’t get me.
As I was riding down the street, Vonston barked as usual. His barks got louder. I thought it was odd, but didn’t think much of it, until I felt something by my right leg. I couldn’t believe it—it was Vonston. Somehow he got free and was trying to eat me. His teeth were big and sharp and actually really white (but that’s beside the point). You should’ve seen my little 10-year-old legs peddling faster than they ever had before. I never knew what “Vonston” meant until that moment…“demon dog from the pit of Hades.”
If that wasn’t enough…
…the nice and friendly neighbor dogs decided to get in on the chase. At one point I looked down and had 8 dogs chasing me. Yes, I said 8! I was trying to peddle faster while desperately trying to keep my balance. It was like a bad, bad dream. My family had no idea I was fighting for my life and limbs outside on Mustang Trail.
Somehow, someway, but by the grace of God Almighty in Heaven, I made it. I got off my bike at the stop sign and watched as the evil dogs who had ganged up on me walk back to their houses. I had survived. I had out-biked the small dog gang without even a scratch.
I made it to my friend’s house and had a great time. I didn’t think about the dogs anymore. That is until I got back on my bike to head home…down the same street, with the same dogs. Honestly, I didn’t know if I had it in me to do it again. And the reality was, I really didn’t even want to try.
I laugh at that story now because, to me, it sounds like life. I mean, let’s face it-life can get tiring. It can be hard and complicated and overwhelming. Just when you’ve made it through one thing-BOOM-something else happens. Difficulties and challenges arise, we suffer losses, we experience trials, we go through valleys, we face mountains and sometimes, quite frankly it seems like all we do is fight to get through the situation at hand. Life pulls at us from all directions, and if we’re not careful, we can lose our direction, our balance and our “want to”.
God didn’t promise us a life that would be a bed of roses. He did, however, promise us He would be with us through the trials and challenging times. He encourages us to give our worries and concerns to Him. He doesn’t want us to go through life weary and worn out but instead live a life of abundance in every area. He also wants us to live a balanced life. The Bible says, Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
The reality is When we get out of balance, it opens the door to fatigue, worry, unhappiness and much more.
The key is to keep your balance. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. I remember when my kids were younger, Saturdays were filled with soccer, gymnastics, baseball, etc. There were some days I had 4 different games to attend and they were all over the Metroplex. We were all being worn out. I finally made the decision to sit down, assess life and make some changes to help remedy the situation. I did, we did and it made for a less stressed household.
The key to keeping your balance is knowing when you’ve lost it.
Let me ask you something-do you feel overwhelmed? Are you pulled in a hundred directions? Do you feel stressed to the max? Listen, every day has opportunities and challenges. It’s what YOU do with all of it that makes the difference. I encourage you to take a look at your days, your schedule and your life. Make the necessary changes to contribute to an abundant life.
Say no when you need to.
Opt out of certain activities.
Allow room for flexibility.
Go after PEACE.
Psalm 34:14 says, Search for peace, and work to maintain it. Sometimes you really have to look for peace and then, once you find it, you have to work hard to keep it! Can anyone give me an “Amen” to that?
Listen, if it costs you your peace, it’s just too expensive.
The Bible says A wise person builds their house while the foolish one tears it down with their own hands. When you are frustrated, your house becomes frustrated. When you are worn out, people in your home can feel it. TAKE CHARGE OF YOU! Be a builder. Be a joy giver and peacemaker. Don’t allow the chaos around you to override the calm within. Stop wearing yourself out. Life is no fun when you have the “Vonstons” of life barking at you and trying to knock you off of your feet. Do what you can to bring peace to your heart and mind.
Remember-Life has no remote…you gotta get up and change it yourself. If you don’t like how it is right now, change it. You got this! You can do it. You have the power to bring about change. Do it for you. Do it for your family.
I think it’s time to chain Vonston back up, get on your cute little cruiser bike and enjoy this thing called LIFE.