With all the resolutions and goals being tossed around, I realized that there is a pursuit of finding your balance with our family, jobs, work, relationships, etc. I am arguing that when has “finding balance” been the fulfillment of our lives? I’ve tried to “balance things” and it’s not fun. What kid wants a balanced “see saw” or one of those giant spring-loaded ladybugs or dragons that you can rock back and forth because the thrill is back and forth or up and down. Last time I was dared to balance on fence when I was in high school, let’s just say it was I “split down the middle” as to what side I wanted to be on. Jenga is not fun for me but I feel like I'm Tom Cruise defusing a bomb to save London and i'm sweating and shaking trying to keep that stupid tower of wood from crashing onto the table (or the giant jenga from falling on small children and killing them).
Last time I checked, Jesus wasn’t into finding balance. Balance says that we should give equal energy and attention to everything at the same time. However, not only is this idea not possible…it’s not Biblical. I believe Jesus was more of a man of extremes:
He was not balanced dealing with family: Jesus chose to prioritize work over his family because he knew the sacredness of the moment and knew his family had to wait – (Matthew 12:46-47).
He was not balanced with work: In the midst of saving the world, he stopped and focused on his family because He knew what they needed at the moment and so he was present and available (John 19:26-27).
He was not balanced with ministry: He rerouted the team when he needed to and when it didn’t make sense because he knew the needs when the needs weren’t always obvious (john 4:4, 27)
He was not balanced with friends: He chose 3 friends as his favorites over the others knowing that sometimes you have to be exclusive as well as inclusive (Matthew 17:1).
When He was supposed to be doing life with God or people, He was fully present physically, emotionally, and mentally. No one has ever been more passionate about people than Jesus. However, He didn’t just live at the whims of people, his family, ministry needs, etc. He was more concerned about doing everything with God rather than making God one priority amongst many other priorities. It was less a “balancing act” and more of an “integrating it all together.” Basically, Jesus made God the harmony of everything He did. In other words, it’s not about God, then family, then work, then ministry, then…etc. Jesus made God integrated into all he did. So it was God and family, God and work, God and church, God and friends, God and....etc. Rather than God being a primary note in the song, God was the congruency bringing the harmony of all the other parts together. Showing both the mutual relationship of all parts. The Bible makes it clear about whatever we accomplish this year it’s about the whole. The bible says in Colossians 3:17 & 23-24:
Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." Again, whatever we do, in work or business, it is to be done in the name of Jesus, with integrity and a sense of Christian service… Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
ALL that we do is done with not Christ being a priority above it but Christ being a part of it all. So I am proposing that instead of finding balance…let’s find RHYTHM. For any good harmony to work, it must have rhythm. Rhythm has movement and rest. What I have been doing for years that has helped me to never feel “burned out” or stressed out, is to divide my day, weeks, months and year into patterns with built-in rest.
Here’s an example of my basic daily work schedule or "rhythm." I block my "cadence" into general 3 hour chunks. It ranges between 2-3 hours due to schedule of others, meetings I'm asked to be at by my direct reports, family readjustments, etc. I’m not rigid about the time but it’s simply a reference. Here it is:
AM-9 REALIGN – Here I do my devos, workout, good breakfast, pray over kids, grab convo with the wife (she works full time), etc. Basically a body/soul/spirit alignment. (I put AM as sometimes I get up at 5 am and other times it’s 7am depending on how late I get to bed).
9-12 CREATE – Here I do my thinking, planning, discovering, investing, organizing my ministry, goals, etc. I also think about who I need to connect with, what part of my performance needs work, what do I need to fix, where are we going and how do we get there, etc. I schedule with people here as well who inspire me, who pull out the best in me, who are creative too, etc. It's basically my inspiration and direction part of my day.
12-3 RELATE – This is my intentional time of connecting with others, networking, coffees, go to lunches, get coffees with people that I need to connect with, etc. I usually like to do lunches at 11:30 or so because you can beat the rush, so “12” is a reference point and again, not a hard start time.
3-6 ADMINISTRATE – I am not an administrative person, so this is the admin portion of my day: I text others back if I haven't yet, I connect with my team on certain things, I organize and return my emails, etc. Again, it’s an “all-things-admin” so it’s not just emails, but much more than that.
6-9 “FAMILATE” – This is family time. It’s family dinner together, family devo’s, games, homework, etc. All-things-family is here and it’s always going to look different as we all know!
9-PM REST – I call this “rest” because all rhythms have a rest amongst the notes. A constant beating drum isn’t relaxing but putting a “rest” in the beat gives us the rhtythm we enjoy. So I rest by reading one of my books, catching up on life with my family (not stressful talks here, those are planned differently), Netflixin’ with the wife, working on special passion projects, etc. I say “PM” because sometimes I’m in bed at 10:30 and sometimes it’s 12:30 depending on the day. Again, it’s a reference. I’m a big believer of getting 7 hours so you aren’t feeling like garbage. So my sleep measures forward 7 hours to when I start to realign again.
After you rest, you realign again. This is my rhythm.