Balance: A Needed Counterweight to Focus

8-7-12 388We all know focus is a good thing, don’t we? Without it, we fall short of reaching goals, attaining new skills, developing talents, or pursuing our interests and dreams. In order to excel, in order to achieve, staying focused is vital.

But sometimes focus can go too far. Sometimes we’re so absorbed in reaching a goal or even enjoying a project or hobby that we miss other important things going on around us. At times focus might keep us from experiencing blessings—maybe the beauty of the early morning dew on a flower or a conversation with a loved one—or it might even cause us to neglect one of our responsibilities.

And so we see that balance is also needed. Each of us must discover that perfect blend of making focus a priority while also allowing ourselves to give attention to not-to-be-missed moments and important tasks.

This endeavor—the quest for balance—takes a great deal of awareness and self-discipline. We must be aware when focus has gone too far and then discipline ourselves to stop and redirect our attention for the moment. We also must have the self-discipline necessary to eventually get back to business and refocus on our original task.

For example, I’ve developed a love for taking photos so I must make time for it in the midst of my work and my day’s agenda. But I also need to know when to set it aside and get back to work. I need balance.

Even when pursuing my photography hobby, I need balance. Many times I’m so focused on getting the best pictures I possibly can, I catch myself looking at life too much through a lens instead of enjoying the moment and looking at the beauty before me from a normal vantage point. True, I have to focus and take lots of shots if I hope to get good pictures, but relishing the experience is important, too. I must discipline myself to balance the two.

What areas of your life (and mine) are crying out for balance? Will we summon the self-discipline needed to find that balance? Remember, I’m not suggesting we abandon focus—a very good and necessary action—but rather that we temper it with balance, an equally good and needful pursuit. Let’s ask God to help us find the perfect blend of the two. He’s always happy to help, isn’t he?

“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5

*What have you done to achieve balance in certain areas of your life?

*Photo by my husband Don

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  1. Tomorrow I’m taking a “balance” day with my mother, sister, and a long-time friend. I’m soooo looking forward to it!

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