Finding Balance

balance rockWhen I was a senior in high school, I was voted the most optimistic member of my class—which was AWESOME. Unfortunately, I was also voted the biggest procrastinator. At the time, I thought that the procrastination title was pretty funny. You see, procrastination didn’t bother me. I had one of the highest GPA’s in my class, and being heralded as the biggest procrastinator just meant that I could successfully accomplish great work in half the time it took many others. I felt the title was a badge of honor.

When I entered college, I still thought procrastination was all right. I swaggered through my days confident in my ability to crank out A+ work on a tight schedule. I was convinced that procrastination was a sign that I was in control and extremely capable. I was so convinced that procrastination was acceptable that I even wrote a college paper extolling its benefits.

school reportWhen my “Procrastination” report was graded, I flipped to the back page, looking eagerly for the A+ that I was sure I’d earned. That’s when I saw my professor’s written comments…

In her note, my professor didn’t pull any punches. She said that procrastination was a sign of gross irresponsibility. She said that by doing last-minute work, I was cheating myself, my peers, and my professors. She said I wasn’t giving my best effort and that she couldn’t respect anything less than my best. She said she was very disappointed in me.

Wow!!! Her words stung. But they also woke me up. HARD.

After that, I began putting extreme effort into my assignments. I SLAVED over them. I spent days agonizing over them. In fact, the minute I had an assignment, I started it. I didn’t want anything hanging over my head. I didn’t want to feel that I wasn’t giving my best effort.

stress 7As the years passed, this “MUST DO IMMEDIATELY” mentality stayed with me. I didn’t feel comfortable going to sleep at night unless everything on my “to do” list was checked off. Unfortunately, checking off every task was fairly impossible to do. I began putting myself under extreme stress. If I left any task undone, I felt like the worst idiot on the planet. As I kept trying—and failing—I began to feel like an utter failure. My self-confidence took a nosedive, and my outlook on life became grim.

What was wrong with me? That’s simple. I was VERY out of balance.

earth 4When I became ill, I spent seven years in quarantine. Although quarantine was horrible, in a strange way, it was also very therapeutic. You see, quarantine taught me that the world would keep spinning, and life would keep happening, even if I was sidelined. Quarantine taught me that—believe it or not—I wasn’t the center of the universe. Of course, realizing that I wasn’t essential to the spinning of the planet was quite humbling for me. It felt very lowering. However, it also took a TON of pressure off my shoulders. As the years slipped by, and as I began to get a more realistic perspective of my place in the world, I began realizing that obsessive striving was just as wrong as procrastination. I began to realize that I needed to be somewhere in between the two.

Today, I try VERY HARD to find balance in what I do. I’m not going to say that I always succeed, but I try to view my “to do” list in a realistic fashion. Through painful experience, I’ve learned that life shouldn’t be spent in avoiding tasks, but neither should it be spent obsessing over them.

balance 1During quarantine, Philippians 4:5-7 seemed to shine like a beacon light in my life. “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” When I memorized those verses, I looked up the word moderation in the dictionary. Simply put, it means, “avoiding extremes.”

In this crazy life of mine, I’ve learned that extremes are dangerous things. They hurt my health. They cut up my peace. They strain my relationships. I’ve spent years trying to find balance because I believe balance is a very important goal. In Philippians 4:5-7, God instructs us to be moderate. He tells us to stop worrying. He tells us to talk to Him. He says He will send us peace. I think that is a wonderful message to embrace. I think that being in balance and basking in God’s peace is a wonderful way to live.

buttercupPeace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

Advertisements

14 thoughts on “Finding Balance

  1. Thank you for that reminder, Danele. I am a huge procrastinator myself, but I try desperately NOT to be. I do accomplish everything that I set out to do and although many people extol my work, I know that it i could have been better had I listened to the Lord and done it when He asked and not put it off. I will think of your example for a LONG time! Thank you, again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Danele for yet another wonderful message. Like you I have struggled with balance and its effects on life when I get it wrong. I am still trying to get it right and am a hopeless juggler. Now ‘one thing at a time, one day at a time’ is my motto and to pat myself on the back when I have achieved that goal. God slowed me down so much four years ago and it frustrated me so much, and I have not been able to return to that level of busyness again. This has been God’s way of showing me that He is in control and not me. To learn to trust Him in everything. It is not easy and I struggle but that is my challenge. God bless you Danele for your insight.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Margaret, I’m so glad that you liked this article. Keeping things in balance is so hard (at least it is for me). Like you, I am learning to trust God in everything. I hope you have a splendid day! Thanks so much commenting! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Lisa you and Danele crack me up. Maybe because it’s easier to laugh than admit I’m right there shuffling and stammering, “Never do today what you can put off ’til tomorrow.” I think all of us struggle in finding that balance. Maybe, just maybe I’m a little better today than a month ago. Maybe. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kelly De Lance

    Balance,yes I am Praying and Waiting! Not only has the World became so Extreme with doing extreme things its about going Extremely against God! Wow! This really hit home with my Spirit Danele. I have been wanting balance in my life for many years. You have inspired me to strive harder for it. You are a blessing to know!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Kelly, you are an incredible blessing to me too! I’m so glad that you enjoyed this article. Thank you for your kind words, and thank you so much for commenting! I hope you have a really wonderful day! ❤ 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s