People talk about achieving and maintaining balance in their lives. You know, it’s a great thought, but… When I hear “balance”, I think of weighing things that are opposed to each other. It denotes a fundamental division. A separateness that strives to remain equal.
I’m not convinced that we should make that kind of balance a spiritual ideal.
We as finite, imperfect humans, in a fallen world, are decidedly scattered and unbalanced. But to strive for the opposite of our natural inclinations is not the same as moving towards Divine perfection. To strive to conquer our own nature seems too much like a human idea wrapped up in spiritual language; another path that allows us to avoid the truth about ourselves–that we are not gods.
If I want the wholeness that Christ promises, how will weighing my life into separate goals and categories of being or doing achieve anything other than a division of my person?
If I want wholeness, shouldn’t I be gathering the scattered pieces of myself together? As one?
I do not believe that authentic Christianity is compatible with a striving towards balance.
To strive for anything other than Christ is to raise up an idol. In this case, the idol being our own ideas about who we are, and what we should do.
Disciples of Christ are called to do one thing, and that is to follow Him.
If we desire a sense of equanimity over His will for us, we will never find the narrow gate. We may achieve balance, but we will still fall desperately short of Christ’s goal for us as we answer the heavenly call.
St. Paul would say that the goal of the Christian life isn’t balance. There is no satisfactory division of our time, attention and resources. Because we now belong to Christ, we have but one goal:
” I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”
Philippians 3:10-12 (NRSV)