Early this morning before heading to workout, I asked Jesus to speak to me, for more of His presence today, nothing fancy just a simple prayer for more of Him and ears to Hear His voice....
When I can rise early enough and sneak out the door- which is not often, I aim for a class called "Athletic Conditioning." I get such a kick out the name because by the looks of it, 99% of the participants are not athletes, it's way more like a bunch of 30-60 year olds trying to move their feet a little faster and just make it to the end without stumbling. Nonetheless, it is worth the early wake up.
The instructor had us doing one legged deadlifts combined with a row at the bottom of the deadlift. You can only imagine the wobbly sights in this room at 6:15 am. I was hanging in there, trying to stay with it. I had my eyes set directly at a dumb-bell in front of me, so I could complete each lift slowly. But halfway through, for some reason on the way to standing I glanced at a lady to my left and I lost it, I lost my balance.
And then I heard the Holy Spirit whisper, "When you take your eyes off your focal point, You lose your balance. When you take your eyes off Jesus, Megan and look at someone else, anything else, you lose your balance. You only stay balanced when your eyes are fixed on Me."
For Me this word "balance" carries more for me than an image of someone not wobbling around during a one legged deadlift, it's a word, an image, a desire I have prayed over the last 6 years or more...
"Jesus give me Balance."
"Father please give our family balance."
" Abba we desperately need balance in our lives."
"Our world feels like its spinning out of control, please give us the balance between work, family, and all the other stuff.
"Please I pray for balance with what I eat, what I drink, with exercise."
"Jesus keep us balanced in this culture we are now living in."
But it was not until this morning that I realized, in my mind when I have asked for balance in the past, I immediately thought of elimination: elimination of activities, elimination of commitments, elimination of foods and wine, less time at work, less time spent on myself, more time doing the "right things." The way to tip the scale to become "balanced" meant unloading weights from one side or the other. More of this, less of that. To stop juggling so many balls, and spinning so many plates.
As I drove home from the gym, the Holy Spirit whispered the words again, His sweet gift to me this morning, "You stay balanced when your eyes are fixed on Jesus. That is what keeps you balanced. I am not asking you to give up this, or take away that (though He may at some point). Right now I need you to get this one thing, Keep your eyes fixed on the prize, fixed on Me."
In 1 Peter 5:7-8, Peter admonishes believers, " Casting the whole of your care on Him, for He cares for affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
Be Well Balanced, be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil roams around like a lion roaring, seeking someone to seize upon and devour..."
In Hebrews 12:2, we are called to "Look away (from all that will distract) to Jesus, Who is the Leader and Source of our Faith and is its Finisher."
Jesus with amazing affection and care is watching us, His eyes are there to stare into. And He invites us to Look away from all else, to Look and gaze at Him, so that we not only keep our balance but so we can be well balanced.