Faith, life, relationships, Spiritual Encouragement, Uncategorized
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The Best Way to Find Balance

The Best Way to Find Balance | www.alyssasantos.com

Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. {John 6:68}

When I was a girl, there were only a few Princesses in movies.

Snow White, the animal loving, home-organizing-whiz  and rejected step-daughter; Cinderella, the dreamy-eyed, hard-working, fatherless wisher; and, Aurora, the most naïve of all princesses who would be pitted against the worst of all evils incarnate: Maleficent.

That’s it. Three. And we only watched the movies if they happened to be aired on Sunday Night at 8 on the Wonderful World of Disney.

Freshly bathed and ready for bed, hastily combed hair still dripping, dampening my pajamas, I sat cross-legged on the floor and wondered what wonders might be shown tonight. The princesses were okay. I like the animal adventures or the peaks into the magical kingdom just as much as princesses.

I had no pink princess gear, no boa-feathered and bejeweled accessories.

I was a child of the 70s – all earth-tones and corduroy (except for the occasional psychedelic swirls, a la The Partridge Family). I played in the dirt and hunted bugs more than I dreamed of handsome princes or magic spells.

Television was mostly a black-and-white affair, with plenty of lines and static thrown in just to make things interesting. Color TV arrived at our house in 1978. We never owned a computer. I talked on archaically tethered phones and played with the curling rubber-coated cords while I talked about boys and the upcoming report (that we’d hand-write and draw all the pictures for) on Peru with my friends.

God was at church. His messages came through clearly on flannel-graph boards and the occasional puppet show. God was at my dinner table, in my mom’s table-side Bible, in the preaching mouth of my daddy, in the Christmas plays and pageants.

And I think now that for all my childhood was, and wasn’t, it was this: uncluttered.

I whiled away hours in complete boredom. I waited in the car. I dawdled in the backyard before dinner. I took walks with no particular destination. There were vast empty spaces before me. Plenty of opportunity to be.

Friends, our lives are full.

The information age has swept us on an unceasing tide of activity. And while I love it for all its benefits (you are reading my writing on some sort of device, and for that, I love the internet!) I wonder how much  s  p  a  c  e  we have to simply be.

I recently began doing a Bible study with a group of other women who want, need even, to find that center where the balance resides.

We’re using the internet (find studies here) and we’re also using a social networking group to stay connected between real life meetings. But the study itself is organic, pen to paper, opening the word, taking the time to soak in a few verses every day.

We are clearing the clutter for a time to listen.

We don’t have a childcare plan or a video cast. We didn’t purchase materials. We have our hands and hearts and the desperate want for the truth of the Bible to clear some space and reside in our souls.

And I can’t speak for the rest of them, but I can say this: I need this space, soaking in truth and grace in the words of scripture.

My brain is inundated with the constant stream of messages coming at me.

The headlines, crafted with skillful intent, demand my attention: Five Ways You’ve F*$%! Up Your Kids, 23 Reasons Why No One Should Marry Before 23, Astronomers Definitively Discover the Oldest Star, One Video You Can’t Miss….

It’s useful, superfluous, informative, overwhelming, funny, compelling stuff. Distracting. Cluttering. Neverending.

I need spacious boundaries.

I love knowing that a half dozen of us are turning to the same pages in our Bibles each morning, searching ancient words, rooted in history, inspired by the breath of God each day. We wait, pen in hand for the seeds to take root in our own spirits, to find fuller understanding, the fullness that expands instead of clutters, that brings order rather than distraction.

 We breathe and wait and sometimes wait some more, just for the clamor to die down.

And we find there, Jesus. The One who created and sustains us. The One who saves us and teaches us how to love. The One who draws lines in the sand and teaches hard truths, whose hands reached out in grace.

And when we find Jesus waiting there, in the thin pages of our Bibles, we begin to find him in our own lives. The bits of real treasure we find in the word become part of us. And the truth of scripture delivers that grace we need.

 It’s simple, really. And I like that. I need that.

Give yourself permission this week to do nothing.

Sit.

Dawdle.

Watch the clouds part and reveal the endless blue, follow a snowflake’s descent.

Drink your coffee while it’s hot. Set aside the devices.

Put down your phone. Close that app.

And instead, invite the word of God into your space.

Just a snippet of his truth will breathe expansion into your souls. Brush back the to-do lists and the constant barrage of messages and listen to your own breath.

Use your eyes to look to the word and not the world.

You are becoming a follower of Jesus this way, a listener and walker, taking steps of faith. After making this a habit, a daily moment with your God, you will look with dismay at what the world has to offer and like Peter say, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the word of eternal life.”

A perpetual feast. Spacious Boundaries. A place to be.

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2 Comments

    • Thanks, Jodi – and yes, we can never get our fill, yet even just bits of it fill us more than anything the world has to offer. Blessings.

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