Headstand on a Swinging Tightrope


The other week my mother sent me a link to a video of an acrobat performing things on a tightrope that my physics teacher would have said were impossible. Watch, it, and you’ll see what I mean.

Sometimes life seems just like this, doesn’t it? Except we don’t have the skills to stay on the rope–especially when it starts swinging. In fact, one of  the toughest things in life is achieving balance.

Its a problem theologically and philosophically. It’s easy to be an extremist. One can spout off about this or that, carry a sign, write a blistering letter to the editor, and either not care what anyone thinks or attribute their inane responses to their being fanatics. A balanced view, however, invites a pelting from both ends of the continuum.

Balance is problematic when it comes to roles and responsibilities. I need to provide for my family, but I also need to spend time with my family. I need to fold the laundry, but I should really take my kids to the park. I need to finish my science project, but tonight is youth group.

It’s no easier when it comes to fiscal matters. I have to pay my mortgage, but my car’s engine just blew. I should put more money away in my RRSP or 401k, but my children are in college.

You get the picture. And it’s exacerbated when the tightrope starts swinging–a spouse becomes ill, a job is terminated, a house burns down, a child dies, a business fails, a church splits. Life doesn’t pause so we can regain our balance.

The psalmist writes in Psalm 103.13,14:

“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. For he knows our frame [how we are made]; he remembers that we are dust.” (ESV)

When balance seems impossible and we feel like we are about to plunge to the floor, God in His grace will give us wisdom when we ask for it (Jam 1.5) and hold us up so we don’t fall. What a compassionate Father we have!

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