Monday, June 29, 2015

How's Your Balance?

My washing machine has major issues.  A couple of weeks ago, it started making this horrendous noise about halfway through the wash cycle.  When I stepped into the laundry room, I became even more concerned.  The machine was dancing back and forth in its small space and ringing out with a loud clanging and banging.  Upon opening the lid, I noticed that the inside of the washing machine was not only spinning but also gyrating wildly, signifying to me that the basin was out of balance.  After adjusting the clothes more evenly around the inside of the machine, I closed the lid, waited in breathless anticipation, then sighed in relief.  The washing machine was back to normal. . . until the next load.

Yes, most (but not all) of the loads since that time have had to be readjusted (sometimes multiple times per cycle) to restore the balance in the machine.  For the most part, this latest "malfunction" is an annoyance, nothing more.  But when I'm deep into the writing process and I have to stop to go dance with my washing machine, I am less than pleased.  And those times when it gets picky and demands that I readjust the clothes over and over again until it's happy with my arrangement drive me absolutely mad!

Yet I have to wonder if it's the washing machine that's making me crabby or the fact that it serves as a metaphor for my life.  How often do I feel out of balance?  How many times in a single day must I readjust my schedule to prevent my life from shifting about wildly?  How many times do I readjust and readjust my plans or goals only to discover that that order doesn't work either?  Yep, I understand exactly how my washing machine feels, for I, too, often feel like I'm spinning out of control.

Jason believes the washing machine needs new springs, which thankfully are not very expensive.  The trouble lies in the actual process of replacing the springs.  According to my husband/handyman, it's going to be a booger of a job, and possibly not worth the time on a machine as old as ours.  So, for the time being, we have decided to let it dance, knowing that means countless interruptions and a good deal of frustration on my part.  Still, it's better than not having a washing machine at all! (I guess I just need to learn to dance, huh?)

As for me, I wish the solution were as simple as replacing some broken springs, but I fear the process will be much more tedious and time-consuming than fixing the washer.  Balance is not something one achieves once and then possesses for the rest of his/her life.  Finding balance is a daily task.  Just as each load of laundry has to be readjusted--sometimes more than once--so does each part of me and my life need to be readjusted from time to time.  This means making tough decisions like letting go of some things and deciding what's really important.  Finding balance is not always comfortable, and sometimes it takes multiple attempts to find what works.

This is where it's important to listen to the Lord's leading.  He understands your schedule better than you do.  Turn it over to Him.  Ask Him to show what things He wants you to emphasize and what things (if any) He would have you turn over to someone else.  Only then can we find true peace and joy in our daily walk with Him.  Dancing is great, but I'd rather dance for joy than dance because I'm spinning out of control.  One is a blessing, the other a curse.  And one is God's will, the other, not so much.

How's your balance today?

A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight. - Proverbs 11:1

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