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Thursday, October 23, 2014 other day's devotionals

Today's Devotional Reading
There Is A Season

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To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8).

As I looked at my son and considered that he would soon be turning thirteen, I began to wonder what advice I could pass on to him. And there in the front seat of my car as I was taking him to school, I began to tell him about something I believed to be probably the most important thing he should ever learn. I began talking to him about need for balance.
I had learned early in my Christian walk about this very important need, and have since been struggling to perfect it in all aspects of my life. But this is not an easy task for someone who can be bit of an extremist from time to time, or for anyone else for that matter. As it is with many who are filled with passion regarding something, it seems to be an "all or nothing" attitude that is possessed, so it also was with me. I gave my heart to Christ at the age of twenty-six and was affected dramatically by God's gracious touch. I became enthralled with Him and anything about Him. There are theologians who call this the "honeymoon stage" of our walk with Christ. That seems to be a fitting description. I spent a great deal of time in prayer and in the Bible, and I learned so very much so quickly. Yet, as it is said, too much of anything is not good. One might wonder, how can too much time in the Bible be "not good." Well, I wouldn't have thought there could ever be too much time in the Word, yet my time with my wife and children was lacking, and some of my responsibilities were going unattended. Considering that I was spending so much time in the Bible, I could easily justify it to myself as being right. Yet, with all the learning I was doing I wasn't getting it--it was not about knowledge alone, it was about application. The Word of God was to be the tool to help me find balance in my life, it was not something to unbalance me. His Word was to be filtered into all areas of my life, not take the place of those areas.
All things must be balanced. There is a season for everything under heaven. We embrace, and we let go. We cling to that which is new, yet not so tight as to neglect the familiar. Our hearts, minds, spirits and bodies must be attentive to all things, giving time to each thing as needed. We must work, but we must rest and play. We must serve God, church and others, and we must be willing to be served. We must minister and we must be ministered to. We must be willing to see the pains and sufferings of this present age, yet we must also be willing to embrace laughter and joy. We must love, be loved, fellowship, be still, be active, exercise, eat right, and selectively monitor all that goes on our plate in a given day--yet not become anxious about any of it.
Consider the entertainer who has made a lively hood out of balancing things. Perhaps he started by simply balancing a stick on his fingertip as a little boy. In time he could balance his stick without dropping it. Then he balances a pie pan on top of the stick, and soon is able to balance the pie pan on the stick with very little difficulty. The more he does it, the easier it gets, until one day he has mastered it.
Learning to balance is not something that comes very easy to so many of us. Yet, if we practice balance in our lives each day, it will be something that will become easier and easier over time. The alternative is anxiety and regret. For as we focus too much on one thing and not enough on another, we will worry about that thing which we have put off so long that we have little hope in ever getting it where it should be. And we even worry about that thing that has so much of our attention because we convince ourselves that if we pull any amount of attention away from it--we will lose control of it. But we are given hope in this: that if we do our best with all that we have, not neglecting anything but not becoming obsessed with any, that God will do the rest. His assurance to us is that He is with us, and that He will help us. He will help us keep the balance when we are weak, and even when something else is thrown on top of our pie pan at the top of our stick. For it has never been about how much we have to hold, but about the extent to which we allow God to hold on to us in the process.

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