A lot of people are on overload and headed for a crash. Consider these statistics among U.S. citizens:
People now sleep 2 1/2 fewer hours each night compared to people from one hundred years ago.
The average work week is longer now than it was in the 1960s.
The average office worker has 36 hours of work piled up on his or her desk. It takes three hours a week just to sort through it and find what we need.
We spend eight months of our lives opening junk mail, two years of our lives playing phone tag with people who are too busy to answer, and five years waiting for people who are trying to do too much and are late for meetings.
USA Today determined that the average American would need forty-two hours in each day to accomplish everything that experts say is required of the well-rounded, health-conscious individual. We don’t have forty-two hours so now we are forced to fit all the demands and obligations into our lives.
We all want balance in our lives. A balanced life is the key to joy, peace, and effectiveness.
How do we find the ability to balance?
Admit that we are part of the problem.
A man unpacked his lunch and complained to his coworker: “Bologna again! For the fourth straight day!”
“Why don’t you tell your wife you’re tired of bologna?” asked the coworker.
“You don’t understand,” the man said. “I’m single. I pack my lunches myself.”
So, it is with us. When we look at a schedule that’s full of bologna and a life that is out of balance, isn’t it true that we pack much of it ourselves?
If our burdens and schedules are a jail, then we are the jailer who holds the key to freedom.
Stop to consider what we are doing.
To stop this frantic pace, we are living we need to cease our activity for a time to determine what we are doing and why. We are not merely to slow down, but to stop. There’s a difference.
A man was pulled over for running a stop sign. He argued that he’d slowed down and looked both ways. The officer said he had to stop. They continued this discussion until the policeman said, “Get out of the car.” Then the policeman beat the driver with the Billy stick and said, “Sir, would you like me to stop or just slow down?”
We are to stop from our busy and hectic schedules to examine what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. Some questions we need to ask ourselves are: Is the frantic pace I’m on worth it? How is it going to impact my family? Will it matter for eternity?
Get our internal lives in order.
The reason many people’s lives are out of balance is because of something internal not because of something external. Not because of something physical but because of something spiritual.
Our compulsion of doing more and more is to fill a void that burns within our soul. We long for satisfaction, acceptance, and belonging. We can’t find that ultimately in people, places, promotions, or prestige. We can only find that in a love relationship with Jesus Christ. We have been so bent on making everything right in our external world that we have neglected our soul. Solomon wrote, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Prov. 4:23 NIV). When the heart, the soul, is in proper alignment with God then the life will be balanced. Just to read books, listen to tapes, and attend seminars on the easy steps to achieve balance in our life is worthless if you neglect your soul.
What’s our part in this process?
Be decisive in what matters most.
Ask for help.
Live with margin.
Attitude means you are willing to wait before you decide if something is bad.
Never lose your focus.
Concentrate on your gifts.
Eliminate the unnecessary.