In an effort to improve my spiritual life I decided to undertake a 34-week Spiritual Exercise program. It is online at Creighton University, A 34-week Retreat in Everyday Life. There is also a book available if you prefer to have something to hold, and you can also listen to the retreat. I actually have the book so I can underline and write in it. I listen to the presentation on Monday mornings on my way to work and I use the online site as well on my various tech toys. I have covered all my bases so I have NO excuse.
This week the focus is on balance. We are asked to look at people we know, dead or alive, and make a list of those we admire for “living in harmony with all of creation” who are “inspiring people who live in praise, reverence and service for God.” I have a short list: Mother Theresa, St. Ignatius, Pope Francis, some friends; I could add a few more but a long list is not really the point. Neither is the point to beat myself up for being unbalanced. Which is good, because I feel so unbalanced I’m surprised people don’t gasp and ask why I am standing sideways at times!
I keep pulling myself away from judging myself. I’ve worked through the Exercises in the past so I know it will come. My questions is, why are so few people living lives that are so visibly unbalanced? My friends are good people; most are Catholics who reflect Jesus’ love to others and yet we are all running around, trying to focus on the to-do list and getting it done rather than using what we have been given to praise, reverence, and serve God.
Maybe the concept of balance is a “first-world” problem. I want to believe that if I take my focus off my list and plan my life around who needs me rather than what needs me I would be better off. Most likely my family and friends would as well. How do we do that?
My answer is prayer and service. In spending time with the Lord I learn his plan, receive his grace and then can serve with joy. There is balance because God gave me the plan.
Is your life in balance? Share how you try to keep it in balance.
Copyright 2014, Deanna Bartalini