by Thomas A. Stobie, S.F.O.
Read and pause often to think what is mentioned as it applies to your life.
Meditation on Living our Lives in Balance
We are all called to live our lives in a balance of work, relaxation, and prayer. Our work can be to support ourselves, raise our children, take care of our physical body, learn new skills, care for our loved ones, or serve others. Our relaxation varies significantly and is necessary for our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. Whereas we are called to lived our lives constantly in prayer, it is useful to devote special times for dedicated prayer and meditation and this is good for our spiritual well-beings. Within an area, a balance is also needed, so that a particular item does not became stale or boring, and so that we can live to the fullness of our humanity, letting all aspects of ourselves grow and prosper.
We need to avoid overdoing things. About they only thing we can not overdo is loving God and our neighbor. Everything else we can overdo and spend too much on it to our and our families' harm. We must come to realize what is sufficient in our work without the endless pursuit of perfection. Striving for perfection is not a bad thing, unless we overdo the effect and end up hurting ourselves and those around us.
In loving God and in loving our neighbor, we can always love more, but at times loving our neighbor and God means taking care of ourselves, getting the rest and relaxation that we require and satisfying our spiritual needs.
In our works, we need to strive for a balance among our different works. We can find more works to do than we have time for and if we apply ourselves on one particular work doing the same thing for extended periods of time, we can find the quality of work decreasing. We to mix our works so that they allow different aspects ourselves to get involve and provide a variety (freshness) to the things we do.
Depending on our work, our needs for relaxation will vary. Balancing the different areas for relaxation helps us to restore our energies in a healthy manner, physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually.
We can overdo dedicated prayer causing us to neglect or poorly perform our works and not get enough rest to rejuvenate ourselves. We all pray on how much dedicated prayer and mediation that God wants us to perform and to follow the guidance we recieve, periodically checking to see if the amount needs to be changed. One factor to consider in dedicated prayer and mediation is to prayfully examine what benefits are you recieving from it. It is important to note that some benefits of prayer are not seen by the individual and that during periods of spiritual dryness you may not observe any benefits from prayer.
There are times in our lives where we find ourselves out of balance. Some of those times it is possible to change and regain the balance in our lives. At other times, our responsibilities and limitations might force us to live more out of balance then we would like. We need to recognize what we can affect and what cannot. Striving to change what we have no control over causes much stress and pushes us further out of balance.
The exact balance for each person will vary by person and needs to be prayed upon and explored by each person to determine what is appropriate for them.
O Harmonious God, who in perfect Unity of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, love us infinitely,
We thank You for all the help You have given us in living our lives in balance, those people You have put in our lives who helps us maintain our balance, and for being with us in our work, relaxation, and prayer.
We ask you to show us the proper balance in our lives and in each area of our lives, to keep us from overdoing anything, and properly care of ourselves and those for whom we are responsible.
We ask you to guide us in our work, that our work may be the best we can do without overdoing it, and reflect well on Your glory. We ask You to help us balance our works that we will find them invigorating and meaningful.
We ask you to guide us in our rest and relaxation, that our rest and relaxation may keep healthy in mind and body and that our rest and relaxation may always be oriented towards You and Your will.
We ask you to guide us in our prayer, that our prayer may satisfy our spiritual needs and be fulfilling. We ask you to help select the forms of prater and meditation that we need when we need it and allow ourselves to change forms when we need to.
We also ask you to help those around us live in a healthy balance as well.
Meditation by Thomas A. Stobie, SFO © 2002. Permission granted to copy for personal use.
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Last Modified 6 Nov 2008.