In the meantime
Sometimes I grow weary of the balancing act of “being.” Life can be a circus, and with the amount that we juggle on a day-to-day basis, it’s a wonder that anyone is left standing. I often feel like I’m perched on one of those balance boards, constantly shifting and readjusting my weight, and when I finally feel like I am steady, the roller slips out from under me and I’m down for the count.
For me, life is lived in the tension between many extremes. For example:
Money: make enough to survive on, but do not worship it. Be responsible, but not stingy. Save it, and spend it. Enjoy it, but do not depend on it for your happiness.
Food: eat enough to be healthy, but not so much to be unhealthy. Do not fixate on it, but do not be negligent toward it. Relish meals, but know when to put the fork down.
Exercise: do it, but don’t over-do it. Push yourself, but not too far. Build muscles, then stretch them, then rest them, then work them again.
Time: spend it wisely. Divide it between work and play, relationships and solitude. Be productive, but not overly immersed. Feed your mind, but relax your brain.
Plans: follow your dreams, but trust God in the process. Be committed, but not stubborn. Know that God put your desires in your heart, and they are there for a purpose, but do not rely too heavily on your own feelings or instincts. Listen. Watch. Pray. But move!
Sleep: get more. Period.
You get the picture – all of the things that people make New Years’ Resolutions about. I have the best of intentions about the balancing act of my life, but as soon as I grow comfortable, I have the proverbial board ripped out from under my feet. And I usually hurt myself in the process.
I don’t know how to live life in the grey, in the symmetry between the extremes. I long for the absolute infallibility found in extremes. I want someone to tell me how to do it, how to live all-out in one radical direction – because at least then, I would be convinced of my purpose… “purpose” being achieving the drastic. The drastic sounds safe, oddly enough.
We all long for “the final word” – the absolute authority to settle the score and justify our tiny lives. The boys that I used to nanny know who the final word is in their home. Whenever they have a dispute, or one is incensed over a certain inequity, they run to their father. And when John speaks over the boys, it is clear that he has the supreme power – and they listen. They thrive in the world of right versus wrong.
How I wish that life could continue in this way! I don’t like the give-and-take, and the constant reassessment every time new factors are introduced into the scenario. But that’s reality. That’s where we reside, and it’s where we have to learn to make our home. Life is not cut and dry, long as we may for the black and white.
And there is a Final Word. I wish I knew more about what that truly means, but I feel like my words and thoughts cannot wrap around God regarding this. He has boundaried our lives as God the Creator and Jesus the Redeemer, and then sustains us in the meantime with his Holy Spirit. “The meantime” is flexible, “the meantime” is hazy, “the meantime” leaves room for all sorts of possibilities. That’s all I know. I wish I knew more.
So in the meantime, I balance on that board, and juggle my life, and flounder and flail, and sometimes, just sometimes, wind up in a sweet spot of balance.