A God-Centered Mind
What does it mean to have balance in life? Generally, it means to have harmony between responsibilities and our desires. Responsibilities are the things we need to do in order to be a productive member of society such as going to work, paying bills and taking care of ourselves as well as others. Our desires though are a bit more complex. They range from the intangible to the tangible. The present and the eternal.
What do I mean by this?
Well, many of us have skills we hope to learn such as learning a new language (intangible) or a list of things we hope to get on our birthday (tangible). But there are also present and eternal matters we desire to fulfill. Perhaps you are trying to pass a test or get a promotion at your job. These are personal and important matters to you. Present desires can be thought of as a “worldly” desire since it concerns matters only applying to this life. This is not to say they do not matter or are all superficial. However, they are in the shadow of eternity.
So how do we balance these responsibilities and desires? I believe the secret to balance is our mindset. More specifically we as Christians must have a god-centered mindset as our foundation. Having a god-centered mentality is focusing on loving God and others as our way of life, not simply checking off the to-do list or be enveloped in worldly affairs.
How do we maintain that focus? We do this by renewing our mind through reading the bible, prayer, worship, and having fellowship with other Christians (Romans 12:1-21).
Why do we need refocusing? Because although we have been justified (which is to say forgiven) our hearts, thoughts and behaviors need time to be aligned with that truth. This takes a lifetime of applying God's grace, wisdom, and forgiveness as we ultimately stumble and fall. However, we are not dismayed as it is God's love that urges us forward.
We do not need to be perfect. I was reminded recently of this when I attended a memorial of a church member who had passed named Ray. Although I did not know the man personally, I was able to gleam who Ray was by how well he was being spoken of. After the service I talked to Ray's widow and praised her on how nice the service was and how admirable it is to see Ray being remembered so fondly. She thanked me but admitted her late husband had his faults and vented he had not always done his share of chores around the house! Regardless of Ray's faults or even the physical pain he was in, he set his mind on God which gave him peace and enabled him to serve others with love.
I hope that like Ray, I will be remembered as never losing sight of that ultimate goal/desire of loving God and others. I do not want to get caught up in going through the motions or only doing what I want personally. However, there can be overlap in our responsibilities, personal desires and our godly calling. Funnily enough, the more we are God-focused the more life seems to fall into place.
So, before we make that to-do list or make plans, let us check our foundation before we build our lives on top of it.