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Friday, August 7, 2009

Life Balance

Most of us who have an active life struggle to have a good life balance formula. For some of us, life only seems to include work and very little time for friends, God, or relaxation. I'm sure all of us have seen that email about the Big Rocks. You know the one where the professor fills a big jar with rocks and he asks his class if the jar is full and they all say yes. Then he adds some gravel to the jar and asks the class if the jar is full and this time the class says no. Then he goes on to add sand and water until the jar is truly full. The jar represents life and the big rocks represent what's most important to us. Always fill the jar with the big rocks first and then add the extras. They key is understanding and learning what matters most to you. Knowing what matters most to you enables you to be able to say no to people and things that try to take up your time.

Your life balance model should consist of 3 things, worship, work and play! Worship includes your time at church, reading your devotions, prayer time, meditation, silence, solitude, ministering to family and friends, visiting shut-ins, serving on church committees, volunteering at schools and in the community. Work includes jobs, house work, paying the bills, mowing the lawn, grocery shopping, and other labor-intensive thing that we do. Play includes sports, exercise, hobbies, playing instruments, reading, dates, playing games, and hanging out with friends and family. Each activity requires investment of your time and each thing will give you something back. Worship glorifies God and blesses your spirit. Work can be tiring but hopefully you feel good after you accomplish something (if not, that's another subject!). Play time lets you get some exercise or spend some quality time with someone, or doing something---but play time feeds your soul!

Most people don't use this model or think about this model in their lives. Most people pour more into their work than any other aspect of their life. "They kill themselves trying to make a living, and die never having lived." In our society, work becomes our object of worship instead of God. We forget that God should be the one who gives us a sense of security and worth not our JOBS! So if our company tells us goodbye, it doesn't matter--God supplies our needs. When we worship our work, we have to "work" at playing because we don't value play time enough--so there's no time or money for it. Then if we do play, everything is turned into a competition or an avenue to make money. Then play becomes work! Not to mention that we "play" at worship. We don't take it seriously or give it priority. It becomes an after thought. We don't allow God to fill us and we look for other things to take His place. Life becomes out of balance very quickly when we worship our work, work at our play, and play at our worship! Nothing fulfills us.

Don't live an unfulfilling life, discover your big rocks, write out your vision, and live a balanced life….one where you can pour yourself into work while you're there but leave it there when you go home. One where you can go off and have some fun and not think about things at the office. One where you can worship and be totally focused on the things of God and not have other things fighting to get your attention.

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I am a certified Life Coach and owner of Bright Life Solutions.