There is often much talk about finding a balanced life today. Like we should be able to navigate through the roughest weather with the grace of a fearless and experienced captain…like no wave should ever knock us off our feet…like we can have it all ~ if only we try enough.
It can be easy to make equilibrium seem like an ideal we all have to strive for and achieve.
But perhaps every day isn’t just your best life ever…or where all your dreams come true…or like sailing on a chocolate river in the Willie Wonka factory.
In fact, I wonder, if in trying to always look like we are calm, cool, collected, and in control might be the source of some of our disequilibrium? If sometimes the waves that crash down on us are caused because we are trying to project to the world that nothing knocks us down?
Maybe the swirling, sloshing seas have something to teach and tell us that smooth sailing won’t be able to ever convey?
Or as the African proverb suggests, "Calm seas do not make skillful sailors."
Reflect back on that moment from the last post when the Psalmist’s words were your words, when the waves were way over your head. What did you take from that moment?
It doesn’t have to be some amazing insight or idea. Maybe it was just that you got through it.
I know for me, when the captain declared smooth sailing and my body declareth, “Not really,” part of what I learned was to ride the waves. I rested. I was gentle with myself. I also discovered that the center of the ship was a little less rocky – albeit not exactly the happiest place on earth for me. I made it through. I am not sure I am stronger…or that I will venture out on a boat again any time soon. But I got through it.
Maybe when the waves crash down…rather than trying to be super spiritual man with my chest puffed out, I need to admit my own vulnerability – I am not invincible. I cannot conquer everything.
Sometimes simply surviving is a spiritual practice.
And the equilibrium comes on the other side…after days of being back on solid land.
And the equilibrium comes as a gift, not as something I did or made happen.
And the equilibrium comes as the chance to breathe and be as the world ceases to swirl around.
And in that moment, I might see traces of grace and God’s presence around me even when the water is churning and I want the roller-coaster of life to stop.
May that truth surround and swirl and sustain you in these days.