Life is like walking a tightrope. We have to learn how to keep our balance. Just as balance is needed physically to walk upright in an orderly manner so we need balance in a myriad of ways for us to live ordered lives.

A balanced life is an ordered and disciplined life. We may not like the word discipline but in this instance it simply applies to structure. Whether we realize it or not, I believe there is an inherent call within us to exercise moderation in all things. It seems that we are more contented and happier when things are in sync. Imbalance in life brings stress and confusion in its wake.

Too much of any one thing will create a lop-sided, and in some cases unhealthy, situation. Constant drinking will lead to alcoholism. Even that one extra drink can cause devastation.  A regular diet of pain killers can take you down the unforgiving road of prescription drug addiction.  Too much sugar, too much salt, too much fat – all needed but in moderation. Regular over-eating will bring its own results. We all know where that goes – mostly to the waist!

A balance is required in the work place. Going in early and staying late might look conscientious and may even be necessary to keep up with the work-load – which would appear to be over-load. No one has ever said at the end of their lives, “I wish I had spent more time at the office!”  In fact it is always the opposite. “I wish I had spent more time with my family!”  Physical ailments and emotional distress is often the result of an imbalanced work place scenario. One company recently saw the light on this issue and now insists that their workers are not in before 8.30 and must leave by 5.30 – no exceptions.

The need to relax is always with us. The need to exercise is forever emphasized and necessary but even with that it can become out of whack. Too much and it becomes an obsession. The run must be done – come wind, rain or storm. (I have often wondered what keeps me from regular exercise – maybe it is the fear of it becoming an obsession!) Anyway exercise is good but we must not let the good become a detriment.

How delightful to own a new car, a new house or condo, but even they have to be within our balanced budget. Over spending has been the downfall of many, leading to years of rebuilding the finances or having to experience bankruptcy.  Impulsive buying will often tip the financial scales the wrong way. Learning to say no, or not now, will often bring with it a sense of relief.

Almost anything we do can produce a downside. Our spouse and family must come first. Our pastimes, our hobbies, our interests and even our service to the church or other organizations we support, can all become obstacles to balanced living and a disruption to family life.

Moderation and balance is critical for a life of calmness and quiet confidence. I am sure you can think of many other areas of life we could consider in dealing with this subject. Balance in our time allocation, in what we read, in what we watch and even in our belief systems – but that last one is a big subject for another day.  So give balance some thought. Check out your daily activity and see if by bringing in a little more balance will create less stress and add additional enjoyment to your life.

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