9.05.2010

off balance

This post could be called several different things: purpose, thesis statement, explanation, excuse, etc. What I basically want to do through this is: first, explain my title, secondly, expand on the idea, and lastly, let you know a little bit more about what I hope to do with this blog.

So first, why is my blog called “Off balance?” Well, the thought of balance has been one that has provoked much thought in my mind lately. We often talk about trying to “balance” out our lives. We want to make sure that we're not overwhelmed by any one part of our life, but everything stays in its place, perfectly balanced. Right now, many of us are probably experiencing just that feeling regarding our academic schedule. However, this feeling is not only applied to school, but all of life, particularly, our Christian life.

Think about it. We usually have a certain standard for our Christian walk which, once met, we consider adequate. Or in other words, we figure that once we meet a certain requirement, it balances out the other times in which we are not meeting that requirement. We assume that there’s a balance to many things in life that were really never meant that way. For instance, our monetary giving is usually limited because we think that we need to keep our giving balanced with our personal spending. This is just an example of many other things that we balance in our lives, such as our time, thoughts, and relationships.

In our culture, the idea of balancing our life is completely normal. In fact, you are considered abnormal if you don’t value balance. Most parents would never encourage their children to be reckless with their resources, although being reckless is not exactly what I am trying to get at. What I am trying to say is that Jesus never asked us to balance our life. Never in the Scripture do we hear Jesus say, “Once you do this much, you have done enough. Just keep control of your life.” He has never asked us for just a part of our devotion, just enough love to where He is balanced out with everyone else. No! He wants to be radical, go overboard, and lose our balance because of Him. He told the disciples to drop their nets right where they were and follow Him. He wants us to trust Him; to know that life lived with a crazy love for Jesus is the only life worth the living. Because if our life is off balance, then it means that we’re completely dependent on Jesus to get us through.

Now, there is a contrast to that thought, which we can quite logically conclude. If being off balance means trusting completely in God, then having a “balance” to our life means that we aren’t trusting God completely. Either we’re trusting ourselves, or something else.

Pause. As I was researching this concept of being off balance, I googled for “balance sermon,” and looked in videos, hoping to find something that would shed some more light on the subject. Coincidence #1 – the sermon I found was actually called “off balance.” Coincidence #2 – the sermon was by Joshua Harris. Yeah, God’s just cool like that. So, please go to vimeo.com/6162467 to see these brilliantly and passionately spoken words of truth. He speaks so well the concept that I am trying to write about, and I think it would benefit you as much as it did me to go and listen to him now. But if you’d rather not, you can continue to listen to my rambling.

Listening to Joshua Harris’ teaching brought to light another important aspect of living off balance. As Christian’s, we claim to lean on God. We claim that our trust is in Him. But if our lives are balanced, we really cannot be doing this. In fact, if we are leaning on God we must be off balance. That’s what the definition of “leaning” is! Our trust must be in God’s love and ability to hold us when we fall into His arms. Our trust cannot be in our own understanding. We must lean into God, living a life completely off balance for Him. We must not try to stand up on our own because when our world shakes our balance will waver and fail. Only when we lean on the one true Rock do we know that we will never be truly set off balance. When we give up the control of our life, that’s when we are safer than we have ever been.

So, that is my explanation for the title of this blog. I hope that seeing the name each time this blog is opened will remind me, and any readers, of the necessity to fully trust in God to hold us. I hope it will remind me to write posts that will be encouraging to those of us who are trying to throw out the balance that we thought we had in life. I hope it will help us all to live off balance.

And as for the subtitle, “thoughts on life, liberty, and the radical pursuit of Jesus,” that refers to the other content I expect to see on this blog. It may be a political new item, a call to action, a spiritual parallel, a meaningful verse, an interesting link, etc. It could be anything, but all centered around the idea that every word will be accounted for, and every second is one to be used for eternal purposes. So, in conclusion, I pray that God will use this blog to embolden, to enrich, and to encourage myself and others to live radically for Jesus, completely trusting, and off balance.

5 comments:

  1. I'm so happy that you are blogging, Shelby! And I love the meaning behind your blog title, Off Balance! I have been thinking the exact same thing lately. :)

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  2. Like it. :)
    This post was particularly challenging to me, considering I talk about "balancing" my life a lot. I loved how you drew a clear line between being "off balance" and leaning on Christ! It made complete sense.
    "Why didn't I think of that?"
    Great job. :)

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  3. thanks. By the way Rach, Joshua Harris came up with the awesome connection... :) not me, really.

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  4. Great blog Shelby. It's great to see God at work in your life!!

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  5. Love it!! Great parallel in balance and defining leaning. I know it was originall Jjosh's but I never would have read it without you.;-)

    Give mom and dad a hug from us!--Mrs. B

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thoughts so far