Remember the teeter-totter? Or maybe you called it the see-saw…whatever. Every playground used to have a set of teeter-totters and most even had a merry-go-round (not one like in the mall—the old-fashioned metal one that didn’t have a motor and required a person to spin it for you).
Remember when you were on the teeter-totter with someone heavier than you? They would sit their side on the ground while you were in mid-air and make you beg to come down (“Farmer, farmer let me down. How much money do you have Charlie Brown?”). If you were the heavier, you got to have “control” of the game and decide if you were gonna be merciful or mean. The best was when you had that friend who was the same size as you and you would sing as you went up and down until the teacher blew the whistle and recess was over.
Remember the merry-go-round? Some kids could get it going sooooo fast. You had to position yourself just right—with a metal bar in your back and butt—so that you didn’t fall off when it started going fast (and we all probably have a story about a kid who went flying throgh the air at some point). There was always that person who you wanted to spin the merry-go-round because they would do it really fast, but would stop when you asked (unlike the bully who would keep going until you were practically crying and your hands were sliding off the metal poles and you thought you were gonna pee your pants).
One of my prayers the past several years is for God to give me balance in my life. We juggle a lot these days. Unlike a lot of moms, I KNOW God has called me to work outside the home. I’ve spent years feeling guilty, years trying to make excuses, etc, but I have embraced the fact that, while I love my family, He does not have a big plan to keep me at home with them. That said, they are my first priority—next to Him—and I cannot let work (even though its “spiritual” work) take first place in my heart.
Many days, I feel like I’m back on that teeter-totter…begging God to give me a day where I am going up and down at an even pace. Some days, that’s what it looks like. Others…well, I’m usually the one in the air—fighting to regain control. Same with the merry-go-round…some days, life is going by at a fun pace—I can see everything around me. Others…things are a blur and I’m focused only on hanging on so that I don’t fall off.
Often (especially lately), I think I’ve figured out the balance thing and am patting myself on the back for finally “getting” it. Then reality sets in and I realize I am not the one in control—which causes me to be even more out of balance. Of course, when I let go of it all and rely on His balance, things are smooth again. But, like the playground, I seem to forget that until I am up in the air or barely hanging on.
How about you? How do you handle it when you are “in the air?” What causes you to hold on with all your might so you don’t fly off?