I’ve been a land lubber for too long and I’ve gotten older, so my balance is not as sharp as it used to be. Today I actually have to work at it. It’s quite annoying to actually have to put effort into, you know, walking upright. Staying on your feet. I only mention it, because it is possible, because there are some exercises, physical therapy, things that we can do to improve and maintain our sense of balance. One of the dangers of getting older are actually falls.
I am still a spring chicken, but still, balance is vital. It’s also a bit mysterious, as in we still can’t replicate it in robots. They can’t walk upright on actual legs, doing the numerous calculations and recalculations needed in order to adjust and maintain their balance. Walking upright is downright miraculous. If you really start to examine all the numerous systems involved, it’s a bit like looking into a human eyeball and observing, uh yeah, none of this just happened by accident….
One reason why I notice the decline in myself is because I used to have quite the sea legs. I spent a lot of time on boats and docks, rocking all over the place. A bit funny, but one of the a hardest things to adjust to is firm ground that isn’t moving. My brain is so conditioned to sense the “waves” in the sidewalk, waves that aren’t there, that I can actually trip over my own feet sometimes.
As a kid I used to love log jams. Don’t try this at home, it’s extremely dangerous. There’s an old saying, “there’s a special angel for drunks and children.” That angel is tired, let me tell you. Crazy though it may be, I used to run across log jams and log roll the loose ones. It can be pretty dangerous. Besides falling between two logs, hitting your head, getting trapped beneath a jam, there’s always drowning and hypothermia to worry about.
Balance isn’t just important physically, it’s important mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. By nature, I think a lot of us tend to be extremists. Why have one cookie when you can have 15? Why do some work when you can be a workaholic? Why have one a pair of shoes when you can have 30? Why have a smart phone if you aren’t going to carry it with you 24/7 and check it constantly? Well now I’ve just gone too far….
Balance, harmony, is important in every aspect of our lives. Music for example, so, so much better if we got some balance and harmony going on. Food is a treasure trove of delightful sensations, if we got balance going on, textures and flavors all complementing one another. Poetry can just sing to you, if there’s balance, cadence, rhythm going on.
Spiritual balance is important, too. I often tumble into these all or nothing conversations, as if only one thing can ever be true. Sola scriptura, literally, as in there is nothing else, ever. As if this verse didn’t even exist, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” All in good humor here, but that’s actually, well, ironically sola scriptura. It’s the truth found in the bible alone.
Who is the Word? Jesus Christ. Who is the Truth? Jesus Christ.
Today I plead for balance. I pray that we as a culture, and us as the church, change our all or nothing mindsets, that we stop acting as if one must swear allegiance to only one perception, that we begin to let go of all the labels that pigeonhole others into safe and tidy boxes, where we no longer have to deal with people as individuals. I pray that as people we let go of fear, come out of our comfort zones, and stop wrapping ourselves in tribal safety, as if we were just a bunch of cowardly cavemen afraid of the people in the next cave over.
The God I know is so steadfast, so unwavering, so not threatened by the silly antics of people, that He dove right in and walked among the lepers, the tax collectors, and the pharisee.
I pray for balance, Lord, and for people to stand upright in the shadow of your courage.