One time I did this bible study where they passed out a circle with about 8 wedges. Perfectly and evenly divided. And each represented some category of our life: faith, family, fun, fitness. Etc. I don’t think they all started with f, but they might as well have.  You had to start at the center of the circle and draw an arc for each wedge at where you were. The middle being a 0, the outer edge being ideal at 10.  I went around drawing in my arcs for each category and I was all over the board.  Some lines were near the edge, others closer to the center. 

And then the kicker. 
The speaker said that this represented a wheel.

And then asked us how bumpy our ride was.
And let’s just say my ride wouldn’t roll.  But that 10s in every category shouldn’t be the goal. That some areas need to be moved up a notch and others moved down and eventually everything will go smoothly.

I loved this picture. Mainly because I was tired of feeling like I could never reach those 10s. But I could make some minor adjustments and I was ready to feel balanced.
And in control. And be better at it.

I liked it so much, I even copied those handouts and taught that same lesson to another group of women a few months later.
But it was all a bunch of crap.  Or at least partly. Because there is no magic formula on how to get it right or make it easy. And yes, I am always need of adjustment. But seeking balance was giving me a lot to juggle all at once. And some false hope that there was some magic combination of my energy that would be perfect and easy and the version of me where I have it all together and don’t forget the snack at soccer practice, or have a messy living room or fall asleep trying to pray, again. That all I needed to do was keep shuffling my wedges.
This lesson was probably about six years ago. And it is a new year, so yesterday in the middle of a really good sermon, I cracked out my blank notebook and broke my life into categories and made goals for each one. They weren’t wedges in a pie but they might as well have been. And they were all good lofty things to be seeking (and I won’t be listing them hear b/c thankfully accountability didn’t make my list!)….but again, they were some magic formula to get to some new and improved better version of me.

Eventually, I put my notebook away and started listening. And the guy was saying some really good stuff. And I almost missed it, because I was too busy smoothing out my ride to pay attention to what I really needed to hear.
And last night I tried to get some work done and go to bed early because my rest and productivity wedges needed a little upgrading. But then my daughter spiked a fever and threw up (on me). And suddenly she was the only piece of pie that mattered.

And I’m still pursuing better, but at 2 am there is no balance. And life is bumpy. And instead of trying to even things out maybe I need to focus on whatever is right in front of me. Rather than the other 7 pies that I seem to keep dropping.

Because things are much easier to carry one at time.

(and I'd love to steal the credit for that great title, but it is a chapter in a book I love love love by Nancy Ortberg called Looking for God: an unexpected journey through tattoos,tofu and pronouns, where she says pretty much the same things I just did, but of course....better.)


Hyacynth said...

This is what seatbealts are for, right? Guess we should ensure what's anchoring us down is really strong. I do this stuff all the time, by the way. Try to make sense of everything -- even it all out. I don't think it can be done. Different seasons and all. Love your words, as usual.

Sarah said...

L-O-V-E this. Thank you for this. I agree, and besides, smooth rides are boring--hence the origination of the roller coaster.

Kier's Serendipity said...

Thank you. I am about to sit down and make my New Year's non-resolutions and you put some of those thoughts in perspective. Thank you...and enjoy your ride.