When You’re Knocked Off-Center

[dc]I[/dc] would love to be as balanced as this tightrope walker (less the tights!). For me, the idea or myth of a balanced life is a bit elusive. I’m a mere mortal. I get knocked off-center all the time and like a tightrope walker trying to regain his balance, I wobble back and forth hoping there is a net below to catch me when I fall.

What knocks you off-center? Relationship conflicts? Illness? Stress at work? Financial struggles? Worry? Fear? Anxiety? Unmet expectations? Disappointment? Addictions?

How do you and I regain our balance when we get knocked off-center?

The first step just might be knowing exactly what knocks us off-center in the first place?

For me, the things that knock me off center are very clear:

1. Relational conflict: My relationships with my wife, children, friends and family are most dear to me. So, when there are fights, conflicts, bad attitudes, and communication problems with those closest to my inner circle, I can begin to tailspin quicker than an F-16 shot out of the sky.

2. Fear & Anxiety: Unresolved fears and the evil step-sister of anxiety make me feel like I’m plugged into a car battery. Fear and anxiety can sneak up on me when I least expect it. It can often take me a few days to recognize fear and anxiety for what it is. It’s most often tied to a fear of failure.

3. Unresolved Conflict with God: Anything outside the perfect will of God is going to create unnecessary conflict. The problem is not God, but me. So, what is it between me and God that’s causing conflict? Is it an attitude? Pride? Ambition or drivenness? A hard heart? Unconfessed sin? Refusing to surrender every aspect of my life to Him? God’s love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness are often what I need to find the courage to get back on the rope!

So, what knocks you off center? What sends you teetering off your tightrope?

Once you and I identify what is knocking us off center, we have to look at what helps us to regain our balance? What gets us back on center so we can move ahead?

Here’s what I’ve found really helps me…

  • I first need a quiet space to pray. The older I get, I find myself praying for and asking for wisdom, wisdom, and more wisdom.

  • It could be waking up early and doing business with God. Reading scripture is vital for me to discover the heart and mind of God on many issues.

  • It could be a long walk on the beach (I like to look for seaglass…finding value in broken, old worn things).

  • Writing in my journal is a must. Here, I download a lot of honest thoughts, prayers, rants and frustrations.

  • Seeking counsel from my wife and close friends. I’m a verbal processor…I can figure out a lot of stuff just talking it out.

  • Exercise! Not only does it produce all those good endorphins to get me out of my funk, it really beats crack cocaine.

In all these practices, I eventually discover what the next steps are I need to take. It may involve resolving a conflict with someone or simply surrendering to God what is clearly beyond my control.

I don’t believe in a perfect, balanced life because most often, our desire for a “balanced life” is a grab for more control, resulting in a self-centered life. I believe more in a surrendered life that is all-about walking the tightrope of faith AND removing the safety net as we put our trust in God and in God alone to catch us, not if, but when we fall.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10

Questions: What are the 3-4 things that knock you off-center? What helps you regain your balance? Who are the trusted people you go to for wisdom, counsel and comfort?

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