This article is an excerpt from a workshop presented by Jeff Lockert at CCO’s Rise Up Conference in 2019.
In 2012, performer Nick Walenda attempted to cross the Horseshoe Falls at Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Nick is a faithful Christian and as he was making the crossing, balancing on the tightrope, at his most difficult and challenging moments, he would pray. In fact on live television as the world watched and listened to audio feed from the mic he was wearing, you could hear him praying out loud calling upon the name of Jesus.
In a previous article, it was proposed that a more useful definition related to life balance is “living life on the edge without falling off the edge”. To live a full life and understand our boundaries and limitations. But when we look at seeking balance in our lives, we are often also referring the pursuit of fulfillment, meaning, and purpose. We want our lives to be rewarding, enjoyable, satisfying. In order to achieve this desire and to most effectively apply various practical tools that help support balance in our lives, there is one most significant factor – the place of Jesus Christ in our lives.
In the booklet, the Ultimate Relationship, it presents an analogy on pages 9-10 that invites the reader to look at three images which describe the place of Jesus in one’s life. These three images represent levels of commitment in a relationship with God.
The first image represents someone who does not have a relationship with Jesus. As far as this person is concerned, Jesus is outside of their life. The second image represents someone who acknowledges Jesus as a part of their life, but has not completely committed to him. Jesus is just one aspect of their life among many others. The third image represents a Christ-centered relationship. This relationship is primary and central, influencing all decisions and every aspect of their life. So a question for each of us to consider is: which image best represents your relationship with God? Another question is: which image would you like to have represent your relationship with God?
When it comes to a experiencing balance in our lives, there are three important considerations which relate to one’s spiritual life.
First, if someone hasn’t ever placed Jesus at the centre of your life, it will feel out of balance. Certainly practical strategies to achieving life balance can be useful, but only a life centred on Jesus can be find long-lasting true balance. St. Augustine famously said, “Our hearts are restless unless they rest in you God.” So choosing to commit to having Jesus at the centre of your life is essential in finding true balance. How do we do this? Through prayer by simply asking Jesus to be at the centre of our lives. (Read more in the Ultimate Relationship)
Secondly, once we have made the decision to put Jesus at the centre of our lives, we need to ask ourselves, “Are all the other aspects of my life oriented towards Jesus, or are some things still oriented to myself or to other influences?” For example, perhaps some elements of your life may be very oriented towards Jesus – your involvement with your church, your friends, your family. But maybe others like your work or career isn’t quite there. Or maybe there are some aspects – like old friends, habits, or influences – that are actually pulling away from Jesus. Until all these areas are offered to the Lord and oriented toward him, you will also feel like your life is not truly balanced.
Thirdly, none of us are perfect and we all have areas we need to further surrender and orient more toward God. Thus the final consideration is that in the pursuit of “living life on the edge, without falling off”, we can turn to Jesus as our Master Coach to help us to become more excellent. He made us and therefore he can help us to truly become the best version of ourselves and can support us in any practical strategies that we hope to apply in our lives. We need to continually examine all aspects of our lives and orient them more toward God. A good way to do that is to take time to pray and connect with God about your life, your balance, and the aspects of your life that might need to be more oriented toward him.
The pursuit of balance in our lives is affected by many things. The spiritual dimension of our life is foundational for fulfillment, meaning, and purpose and a life centred on Jesus offers us a tremendous advantage in finding balance and becoming the best version of ourselves. What aspects of your life still need to be centred on Jesus?