Have you ever had one of those days when it seems like you are meeting yourself coming and going? Does it sometimes feel like you are juggling your life’s tasks and you simply can’t keep up? It’s easy to feel this way. Earlier today, my wife shared a video clip sent to her by one of her business colleagues. In his Amazing Juggling Finale Chris Bliss shows us how it’s supposed to be done. The video is about four minutes long, but you’ll want to watch it all the way through. If you are ready to view it, click here.
This set me to thinking. Three questions came to mind:
(1) What are some of the things you do to help you keep all of the balls in the air?
(2) What are some of the things that seem to really mess you up?
(3) What are some of the things we can do to become “better” jugglers?
Regarding the first question, I’ll confess that I’m not an expert at this. Even though it sounds a bit cliché, one thing that helps me keep all of the balls in the air is keeping my eyes on the ball. Or, as is usually the case, I’ve really got to concentrate on keeping my eyes on the balls. Something that goes hand-in-glove with this is having the ability to let go. I’ve come to realize over time that I’m more of an idea guy. I believe it’s a gift from God. But, although I’m reasonably adept at developing processes by which ideas can be implemented and managed, I’m not the best detail person. I’m very thankful that God has placed some extraordinarily talented detail people in my life.
With respect to question two, some of the things that really mess me up are: 1) failure to prioritize—sometimes the urgent crowds out the important in my life; 2) over committing myself—sometimes I bite off more than I can chew and everything suffers; and 3) forgetting to breath—back in the day when I played the baritone saxophone I would sometimes try to play through longer than my breath take me thinking this showcased my talent. Instead, it adversely affected my sound. I was so enamored with myself for doing without air that I didn’t even notice. Mrs. Hadley did, though. She would wave her hands about her head like she was fighting off an attack of killer bees. Then with crisp, staccato strikes on her music stand she would emphasize each syllable while she said, “You gotta’ remember to breathe, people!” Then, so that I would feel the full intensity and blazing heat of her stare, she would look directly at me and say, “You must breathe!” Even though she was only 5 feet tall, I knew it took every ounce of strength she could muster to keep from thrashing me. Well, that’s a long story to make a short point. Busyness is often confused with productivity. Sometimes, the best thing we can do to become better jugglers is to put down our tasks and take a few minutes or days and just breathe.
As for question number three above, I must constantly remind myself of the words of several key passages:
– Jeremiah 10:23, “LORD, I know that people’s lives are not their own; it is not for them to direct their steps.”
– Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
– Proverbs 3:5-6, “5Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
– Zechariah 4:6, “…This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
– Ephesians 5:1-20, especially vs. 15-17, “1Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children 2 and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for the Lord’s people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient. 7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
8For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) 10 and find out what pleases the Lord. 11 Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. 13 But everything exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes a light. 14 This is why it is said: ‘Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.’
15Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
– Most importantly, Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
So, what about you?
Are you struggling with your juggling?
© Bill Williams
August 9, 2006