Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Get a life!

A solitary person, completely alone—no children, no family, no friends—yet working obsessively late into the night, compulsively greedy for more and more, never bothering to ask, “Why am I working like a dog, never having any fun? And who cares?” More smoke. A bad business. Ecclesiastes 4:8 MSG

My time is short—what’s left of my life races off too fast for me to even glimpse the good. Job 9:25 MSG

Hey, I resemble those remarks! I was searching an online concordance on another theme when I found these verses, and they pierced my soul. OK, not enough to leave the office so I’d go home and play with the dog, but enough to make me rethink balancing my life.

My mother used to say that I needed balance, when I was working 60-hour weeks in addition to leading the singles ministry for my state and being a church musician on Saturdays and Sundays. (But I thought Mom was jealous of my time.) My boss told me to find balance. My doctor said that being tired and stressed was preventing weight loss. I’m not so unbalanced that they ganged up on me: these are comments I’ve heard over many years. (And I haven’t learned yet?)

A partial defense is that I earned my Christian high school and university tuition, paid for my own second-rate car, and found employment without the advantage of being the relative or crony of someone “important.” I relish solo vacations. I made my own family-of-choice at work and church. Work is fun, and it’s good fellowship, so I often steal from leisure time to work at home. I love working at church. As a single woman with a mortgage, it’s terribly difficult to say NO to paying work—or to a request from the pastor, who thinks that 1 Corinthians 7:34 means that singles have oodles of time for church projects!

But a weekly rest with God, and making a daily “quiet hour” to commune with Him tends to level the teeter-totter of my life. If someone says, “Get a life,” I can say: “Thank you, but would you like some of my excess?”

[He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 AMP

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