I can feel it in my right shoulder
Never the left.
That tightness, that tension,
The slow burn.
Slowly, slowly building day after day, a fierce grip of anxiety.
It always means one thing,
My body is trying to tell me in the only way it knows how—
“Slow down, take a deep breath,
you are on overload.”
In simple terms, it means stress has thrown me out of balance.
Her steps confident without hesitation, without a wobble.
A shy grin on her face, as I ask if I can take a picture.
A picture of perfect balance.
I was amazed at the way Rwandans carried their loads. Always on their heads. Sometimes they had things in their hands but mostly their hands were free. A picture of confidence and grace. No slouching—ever.
It made me self-conscious of my sometimes lazy round-shouldered posture.
Jamie makes an attempt which elicits a giggle, then a full belly laugh from our new friend. I know she is thinking, “Silly Americans.”
She succeeds in fragile balance but the minute she takes a few tentative steps, it starts sliding. Again, two steps, and it topples.
Our friend thinks it’s hilarious. And I guess it does look goofy, she’s probably never seen one of us even try.
But the funny thing about balance–it is fragile and takes concentration.
We have so many wonderful opportunities today that past decades never dreamed about. But with each opportunity or click on the computer to another world of knowledge, there is a compromise.
And that compromise is time.
How much time am I willing to give to social media, to reading news stories and the links which lead to more links…?
I can do internet research on the best chair for a certain space, or the latest flooring products, and finding that perfect rug–which in theory is great to be able to do from my easy chair.
But time drips and then flows. And soon I realize I’ve spent an hour or two looking and still haven’t finished that latest kitchen design sketch due the next day. And the laundry is overflowing, and I need to prepare my bible class lesson and my family needs…
And that’s when the tension starts. I realize I do it to myself. And that it is a habit I easily fall into.
It’s when I loose focus and find my load slipping and threatening to fall that I find myself spiraling down into the pit of stress. The fragility of discipline, laser focused one day, not so much the next. Such is the American way, where stress is the norm, not the exception.
The key to a balanced day? When I start my morning in quiet time with him, he equips me to face the world with peace and focus.
And I remind myself that I can either face the day tense and tight, falling into old habits which helps no one, or I can relax and enjoy another blessed day the Lord has given me.
It’s my choice.
Lord help me!
Romans 13:11 But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all our day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. (Msg)
-What do you need to do to give yourself more God-time?
-Write it on your calendar and do it!