Do you ever feel that life is out of tune
—a discordant schedule of pastoral engagements, spousal obligations, parental demands, friends’ needs, children’s activities, and church activities expecting your participation? When your head finally hits the pillow, does that nagging fear you’ve forgotten something keep you awake until the early morning hours? Do you find most of your days have been commandeered by yet to do items on your “urgently needed to complete” list?
If the answers to the above are yes, you are in good company.
Like many professions, pastors may often feel the need to multi-task in order to complete everything on their to do list before the board meeting convenes. Trying to find that delicate balance of work and our personal agendas is a little like sitting on the top end of a teeter-totter. Just when you think you’ve managed the formula to “get it all done,” someone gets off at the bottom, painfully reminding us of how out of control our lives can become within a matter of seconds. We are jarred into the sudden realization that our teetering life’s schedules are also dependent upon others.
Our time is mostly not our own.
Every day people grab parts of it away from us through job demands, family activities, church responsibilities, and even our adoring pets. What task is first to be completed will depend upon our hierarchy of values. When Pastor Ned went shopping for the church, he pulled out his list. The first few items were for much needed office supplies for his study. At the bottom was: wife’s birthday present. Love took charge and the last item became his primary focus.
Many of us have too much month at the end of our money. Which of our financial obligations is tended to first will depend upon how we view the purpose of money in our lives. Pastor Dawn had to buy groceries, make the car payment, and pay the tithe on her salary. Falling short, she trusted in God’s benevolence. She tucked her tithe into an envelope, then wrote a check for the car payment. Integrity demanded she fulfill her promises, first to the Lord and then to the bank. When she checked the mail the next day, she had received a refund check, a credit she’d forgotten about, enough for groceries.
Balanced living is achieved only when our actions align with our values.
God gives us His Holy Spirit to desire what God deems best for us, helping us to make choices that are in tune with His perfect will.
Christ is our example of balanced living. Every choice He made came from a central desire—to do the will of the Father. His ministry, prayer, social life, and personal choices revolved around this driving force: to finish the work for which He had been sent:
“I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4 NIV).
Christ’s actions were aligned with God’s plan.
When we walk in disharmony with God’s purpose, our proverbial seesaw comes crashing down, painfully reminding us that our lives have become unbalanced. How then do we keep in step with an all-powerful and all-knowing God? Paul tells us in I Corinthians 2:16 that we “have the mind of Christ.” The Holy Spirit who dwells within every believer directs our choices and will help us achieve that elusive balance for which we crave.
Yes, pastor, with Christ at the top of our teeter-totter life, we can rest that He will assure the important things, from His perspective, will be accomplished.
By the author of I Prayed for Patience, God Gave Me Children.
A veteran social worker, Linda Wood Rondeau’s varied church experience and professional career affords a unique perspective into the Christian life. When not writing or speaking, she enjoys the occasional round of golf, visiting museums, and taking walks with her best friend in life, her husband of over forty years. The couple resides in Hagerstown, Maryland where both are active in their local church. Readers may learn more about the author, read her blog, or sign up for her newsletter by visiting www.lindarondeau.com.