and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life,
acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you
can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise
man." ~ Euripides, 480-406 B.C.
"Keep a balance in your life."
We might blame the ancient Greek playwright, Euripides, for
this somewhat misguided advice that persists today.
Every season of our lives brings
different demands, and well-meaning advisors continually
urge us to find balance. But the
quest for balance in our lives eludes and frustrates us.
Balance today becomes imbalance tomorrow; balance for
one person is imbalance for
notion of "balance" hardly has Christian origins nor is
it consistent with New Testament teaching. In our
time perhaps it emerges from western psychology as a
prescription for the middle-upper-classes who have the
luxury of over-programming their lives.
The idea of "balance" in our lives
has achieved almost biblical proportions. Margins,
boundaries, and balance are buzz-words of our day --
generally defined in terms of time. Is my
lifestyle well-proportioned? Of 168 hours per week, the perfect
life allocates 56 hours to sleep, 6
hours to church-related functions, 14 hours to "time with the
kids," no more than 50 hours to the workplace,
But we'll struggle
to find the word "balance" on the lips of Jesus.
Nor will we find the apostles Paul, John, or Peter using
the term in their
The gospel words and phrases that
ring so loudly include: "die to yourself, be a servant
of all, be led by the Spirit, surrender, and
abide in Christ." As Christians, the solution for
harried lives and collapsing marriages is not a
new way of allocating our hours but a new attitude with which
we approach each other and all of
answer to our fragmentation and isolation lies not in
the reapportionment of our lives but in the refocusing
of our lives ... on Christ. Greater attentiveness to the
living, compelling, and guiding Presence of
Christ will steer us into much richer and
fulfilling lives than any effort to artificially
we grow more aware of His voice rather than the ancient