As I sat, aimlessly twirling my fidget spinner, watching the Oilers lose yet again, the weighted ball bearing on one of the three equally balanced legs of my novelty toy popped out. Immediately, the whole apparatus went careening out of control, coming dangerously close to flying across the room into some of my wife’s prized decorations. 

Always in search of analogies, I realized that I was holding a great one in my hand. Balance! How desperately we need to maintain it in our lives. if we wish to continue rotating on an even keel, the three components of our life, Physical, Emotional and Spiritual must rotate in balance and harmony. Any one of them, under or over-weighted, can throw us into a state of dis-equilibration.

A Balanced Physical Component is maintained by dealing with any physiological deficiency that causes our body to malfunction. Physical illness is not a sin, nor is mental illness. Hormonal or chemical imbalances need to be treated by a competent medical professional.  Have regular medical check-ups. Balance in this area of life also requires personal discipline in the area of exercise, diet and rest.  Failure to deal with any one of these variables will result in an out-of-balance life.

A Balanced Emotional Component requires that we deal with unresolved emotional issues. These include, but are not limited to, ‘father issues,’ ‘identity or self-worth issues,’ as well as ‘abuse or bullying issues.’  Incomplete resolution in any of those areas throws the emotional leg of our life out of kilter.  These things do not go away!  They must be faced and dealt with definitively, in accordance with, and acceptance of, the Word of God.  Often the services of a trained Christian Counselor can help in the ‘unpacking’ of these emotional impediments and bring them to the place of healing.

A Balanced Spiritual Component is often the one we first neglect. If we were to eat a fine meal today and anticipate that it would be sufficient for the rest of the calendar year, we would slowly starve to death. So, it is with the  Word of God. It is essential food to sustain the spirit. If neglected, or only ingested sporadically, spiritual malnutrition will inevitably result.  Similarly, a current, vital prayer life helps maintain spiritual balance. This involves the regular act of thanksgiving and praise, not only the presentation of petitions. Finally, contrary to some of the current, dangerous trends, we need the ‘fellowship of the Saints.’  Divorcing oneself from the Church: the communion and company of the family of God, will result in a gradual but absolutely certain degradation of spiritual well being. Self-care for the believer necessitates regular, sustained attention to all three of the above areas of our life.  Only then can we spin in balance without a dangerous wobble.

Al Downey

Pastoral Care Director at ABNWT District Office
Al Downey

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