It is hard work to achieve big dreams. Sometimes the cost is very high. Sometimes it costs us our health, time with our family, or worse yet, it could cost us our family. The truth is our jobs or businesses are much more temporary than our family life or our health. At least that is the way it should be.
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As professionals and believers we always seem to live in this tension, don’t we? You have probably gone to church and heard this famous idea. You should always put God first, family second, friends third and your ministry fourth. And the pastor lets you know items one and four are not the same thing. I used it before. It sounds very good in theory and we like to have our priorities ordered like this, but real life doesn’t work this way.
The best practical idea I ever heard on priorities came from Joyce Meyer. Someone asked her how she kept her priorities straight, she replied, “I am always working them out.” Yes, in the long-term have the firm list, but your job may require you to work longer hours during a certain time of year. Your new business may take a lot more to get it going at its origin. Someone else may say they are in the medical field, and are on call. Not showing up may mean life or death for someone! But, I still believe a person can set up boundaries where work is left at work most of the time, even in this age when many of our jobs do invade our personal space, from time to time.
Sometimes you must find a way to not neglect where you are needed most. Sometimes it is with your family. Sometimes you may need time for yourself. Balancing our time is a tricky thing, because once it is spent, it is gone. I am not saying you don’t work hard and exceed expectations when you have long hours or a busy season, but don’t forget about those whom God has given you. Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Exercise or get medical treatment if you need it. Don’t always put those things at the end of the list. There will come a day when you don’t spend any time with the people you currently work with. But your family needs nurtured everyday in this life.
Now I want us to be careful. When I used the word “time,” it has a punching a time clock feel to it. I don’t believe we are talking about just putting in time with our family. We typically have time with our family, but are we attentive? Are we mentally and emotionally present?
I wish I had this all under control and could speak from a position of true mastered authority on the matter, but the truth is I must strive to submit my work /life balance to God daily, and I struggle just like everyone else. After all the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). Personally, I struggle with the fear of being unproductive and I can be present but thinking about how to accomplish a task that is pressing in on me in the work world.
It is very important that we are forgiving of ourselves and always working out our priorities. When we fail at having balance God’s mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23). We can’t lived condemned, but we must live victoriously convicted and mindful of the victory we have.
We need to be goal oriented and hard working, but it can’t become bigger than the richest blessings of this life. After all, our careers, marriages, family relationships, friendships, our relationship with God Almighty are faithfulness marathons and not sprints.
As Rick Warren says, “Blessed are the balanced for they will out last everyone.”
There are 260 chapters in the New Testament. You go to work 5 days a week. There are 52 weeks in a year. 52 X 5 = 260. This year, Take the Challenge! Change your life!
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