In previous times, in previous positions of employment, I worked weird hours, long hours and thrown in the mix for great amounts of thinking time and high monthly gas bills, long commutes. This ultimately led to a home life, that after spending time with family (and friends, when schedules and finances permitted), led to a lack of energy and time to take care of the responsibilities that come with a place to live.
Let me take a moment to qualify this…the producers of Hoarders: Buried Alive weren’t knocking on my door. Neighbors have never filed complaints for house/property or living arrangements being out of control. It wasn’t an extreme ordeal. At the end of the day, though, it came down to feelings of being bothered…that everything didn’t have or for whatever reason wasn’t (and sometimes still is not) in its place. You know how this feels. And I’m far from perfect; so I’m still working through this as well. However, last weekend, a master to-do list was written down; energy level was high and my motivation to get stuff done that hadn’t been addressed in well…way to long, was through the roof. And what a great feeling. Master bedroom feels larger and more relaxed. Progress was made on the main floor…where we spend most of our time, so it’s usually the hardest to stay up on. Both cars are parked in the garage! And the basement is about 75% clean from top to bottom…of cobwebs.
Like most people, our basement is used for storage and laundry. It’s not finished, so the areas that aren’t used are prone to….well…in life, it’s important that it not be overtaken with things that simply do not belong. The spiders and the webs they weave can not be given free rein. It wasn’t a disaster…but it was enough to cause consideration for how we approach our lives.
Relationships that are neglected, ended up needing repairs in the long run. Someone does not feel valued because the other person failed to make time to make the investment. So the return was nowhere near what it could have been. Spiritual, the same principles apply. Emotionally. Financing. Family. Friendships. If we do not pay attention…FULL attention to our lives; lives that we are called and capable of living to the fullest, then we end up lop-sided. Out of balance, out of alignment, detoured, distracted…and ultimately in need of a good cleaning, so we can see the potential and the originality of what used to be. Living to the fullest, does not mean having everything. It involves satisfaction and contentment; confidence that you have taken care of what is within your power and capability to handle.
Within the past month, I started a new position… in an area I have always thought would be a cool place to be in and learn and grow into more. I am living by faith and yet, surprisingly, not freaking out about practical things…like finances. My commute, though long, is drastically less stressful. My free-time has greatly increased. I no longer work insane hours…or Saturdays for that matter. And this evening….my wife tells me she hasn’t seen me this happy in a long time; especially in regards to my profession. Furthermore, stepping into this new role has my mind in overdrive….about what I want to do, books I want to read, things I want to accomplish, goals I have, personally, professionally, financially….what I feel God is placing in my heart regarding ministry opportunity. I’m excited to learn and greatly anticipating the people He will place in my life to help me put it all together.
I keep coming back to this picture of God, being the One wh9 orchestrates. I’ve noticed it primarily in my conversations within my new career, but it has begun to carry over in other arenas as well. The effectiveness and efficiency of our lives, here on earth and for the Kingdom of God, require systems to be functioning properly. It requires us to be in our “right” mind. It requires a proper perspective and a balanced framework. Cars ride smoother when tires and wheels are balanced and in alignment. Engines run better when “balanced & blueprinted” (see: http://www.custompistols.com/cars/articles/balanced.htm). In fact, Les says it perfect: “Ideally, this should be an integrated plan with all the factors of performance and use built-in.”
It’s difficult to live balanced. We prefer certain activities, certain people, certain places. I’m not saying everything will be fair or should be given equal time. Life does not work that way. The key is to have a plan…and an understanding. Make time for what is important. Make time for what is necessary. Make time for God. Give back to God. Time for family…give to your family. Work, friends, interests. Give and it will be given back to you, is what the Scriptures show us. It you take it all, how will anyone have anything to share with you.
I trust this will all be connected for you. Consider it the result of my being out of balance, not having blogged in quite a while. As I told a potential client the other day…I know it’s a lot to download and unpack, but I hope I’ve explained it in a manner that has brought understanding. Examine your life. What is out of balance? Find a way to sort it out. Download it. Extract it. Go through the files. Figure out what will improve your effectiveness and your efficiency. Then clean away what is not needed.
Your life will be ready to be driven…and you’ll be in a position to enjoy it.