As an elementary student, one of my favorite recess activities was to play on the merry-go-round. All the kids would grab one of the iron handles and run for all they were worth. Then, when the merry-go-round was traveling as fast as it could, we would all jump on. If you were sitting close to the outside, you would have to hold on with all your might, because it was easy to get thrown off. The kids who sat close to the middle very seldom were thrown off or lost their balance. The center of the merry-go-round was the safest place to be.
You need Christ at the center of your life.
Everything else stems from your relationship with Him. Colossians 1:16–17 says, “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” The earth balances in space because God is holding it there. Without God, our world would spin out of control. If your life is spinning out of control, it is because Christ is not in the center, holding things together, and it is because you are not centered in His will.
This may sound counter-productive to the message of this article, but the goal is not balance. The goal is submission to God! It is only as we make Christ first and subject everything else in our lives to Him that we experience a truly balanced life—a life where every role has its proper place and all the roles are properly connected to one another and to Christ.
I worked my way through college by being a waitress, and over time I learned how to balance quite a few plates on one arm. Sometimes I would try to carry too many plates at once and could feel that I was losing balance. In those moments, I would immediately remove one or two of the plates to keep the rest from falling.
When we are feeling out of balance, we occasionally need to remove a plate or two. It is in choosing which plate that we often make our mistake. We usually give up the plate that doesn’t cry out to us—like personal devotions! Long ago, there was a lighthouse keeper in charge of keeping the oil light burning so sailors could safely navigate along a dangerous stretch of the Atlantic coastline. Once a month he received a supply of oil. Since the lighthouse was near a coastal village, the lighthouse keeper had frequent visitors, and most of them needed to borrow a little oil. One woman needed oil to keep her family warm. Another guest needed oil for his lamps. Other visitors also had what seemed to be genuine needs, and the kind lighthouse keeper tried to meet all their needs.
Toward the end of one month a terrible storm hit the rocky coastline. The faithful lighthouse keeper was at his position tending the lamp so ships could safely pass, but before dawn, while the storm still raged and the ships were being tossed by terrifying winds and crashing waves, the oil ran out and the lighthouse went dark. A woman is needed by so many people. We give a little here and a little there, and if we are not careful, we will not replenish our spiritual energy on a daily basis. Then, when a sudden storm enters our lives and the great need for spiritual reserve hits us, we may be empty.
The principle here is simple, yet so vital.
You cannot give and give endlessly. You must also restore. You must renew and refresh in the presence of the Lord. Your time with God is the vital, replenishing lifeline you need as you serve your Lord, your husband, your family, and your church. Without it, you will, like the lighthouse keeper, eventually have nothing left to offer.
Make Christ the center of your life, and you will have a life of stability and balance not only for yourself, but also for those who need you.