one thing is needful

Worry and Balance

There are countless distractions in life. Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed with worrying about everything that is not important. I worry about the past, which I can’t change, and I worry about the future, which I can’t predict. I have spent countless days worrying about trying to get everything done and find some sort of balance.

I usually feel so completely out of balance, as if I’m never quite in the right place at the right time. I have a lot of different things going in my life—being a wife a and mother, serving in my community, being a good friend, trying to pursue my own ambitions—and I just end up feeling guilty most of the time because my time and resources and limited.

How do I balance taking care of my kids with working on my own projects? How do I balance being a good friend and taking care of everything there is at home? How do I balance days when I’m feeling unmotivated and exhausted? Sometimes I worry that I should delete my Facebook account or shut off my computer all the time; sometimes I throw in a frozen pizza and play hide and seek; sometimes I bake unicorn cookies and wait a little bit too long to pick up my crying child.

My life doesn’t feel balanced at all. I muddle along, worrying about everything.

But I don’t have to live the rest of my life like that. It’s not easy, because it involves the reality that I must stop relying solely on myself and trust in God. If I choose to follow Jesus Christ, I don’t have to worry. I can have the assurance that everything will work out.

Balance can come when I establish my one thing first. If I can put what is needful above what I want, then I will find the right sort of balance. But that balance is completely different from the balance I want. I want a sort of balance that means I’m doing everything and I’m doing it well. But the sort of balance that comes from following Jesus Christ is a balance where things don’t get done and areas I feel are important become neglected and forgotten in favor of something better.

I was driving home from picking up my daughter from school and I felt I should go visit a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. But I ignored the feeling—I was cranky, my house was a mess, and I was worried about everything there was to do. I didn’t feel up to it. I came home. And later, I realized I didn’t want everything that I felt I had to do overwhelm something that I knew was the right thing to do. I got into the car again and I drove to visit my friend. All the things that I had worried about really didn’t matter—I didn’t have the time to spend cooking a nice dinner, my house didn’t get as clean as I wanted to, and I still sort of felt tired the rest of the day. But while things didn’t get done, by visiting with my friend, I found happiness.

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