For those of us who are production staff or volunteer leaders, we're asked by church leadership to strive for excellence and come up with creative solutions to "make it work."
The idea of balance is that everything in our lives is evenly distributed.
And we do.
In such a church role, though, we more often than not work our tails off, to make the impossible happen. We build sets, create videos, or set up/strike a stage sometimes several times a week, depending on what events are going on. We do all these things, because we love what we do, and enjoy a good challenge.
At the same time, we find that we also do all of this, because if we don't do it, then who?
Both the New and Old Testaments talk about "having no other gods before Me," and with that is knowing and understanding our relationship with God.
A lot of times, we put our relationship with Christ on the back burner and focus on the dozens of tasks that must be done by the weekend, for the upcoming services.
To prepare, we find ourselves in endless meetings to discuss stage layout or which background to use for each song. Not to mention all the extra events, weddings, funerals, and church services that take away our time. (Have I stressed you out yet, because you realized all the stuff ythat is still on your to do list, and you're reading this instead?)
The problem is we don't set boundaries in every aspect our lives, and the result can then be where your life is suddenly spinning out of control.
I've recently read a book, one that I wish I'd read years ago, written by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. The great book is called “Boundaries - When To Say Yes, How To Say No, To Take Control Of Your Life.”
In this book, it offers Biblically-based answers to tough questions, showing us how to set healthy boundaries with our parents, spouses, children, friends, coworkers, and even ourselves. As I read this book with my entrepreneurial group, it really hit home with me.
As I was writing this piece, I was thinking of the people in my life that struggle, because they didn't set boundaries early on in many aspects of their lives, and now they're reaping the consequences.
After reading this book, I've reflected some and was reminded of the boundaries I need to set up to protect my family, and the time I have available to them each day. I highly encourage you to find this book or download the audio version. It will change your life!
I tell my kids all the time that every choice has a good or bad consequence. If I stay up late watching TV, for example, I'll then find myself being tired the next day. Or if I work too much and get home late, my wife will not be happy with me. Or if I spend too much time looking at social media while on the clock and end up not getting work done, then my boss will wonder why she hired me.
On the flip-side to that, if I go to bed on time tonight, then I'll find myself alert and more productive the following day.
If I come home early and focus on my family, then my relationships at home will grow deeper. If I limit my time on social media and focus more on my work, then I will be more productive, which in turn will increase the odds of my getting that raise I need, to go with possibly being named the employee of the month, something that comes with the awesome parking spot next to the front entrance.
In everything we do, there are good or bad consequences that put us closer to or push us away from where we should be in our lives.
I believe we can all serve God, our families, the church, and the community, all within the time allotted every day.
I'm not saying I've figured out true balance in my life, but I also believe that balance doesn't exist in our day-to-day activities. The idea of balance is that everything in our lives is evenly distributed. And that is far from possible, because something is always going to be number one and carry more of our focus then the other items.
The trick is to be laser focused at whatever task or job you're doing at that moment. When at home with your spouse and family, be laser focused on them. Get off social media. Get off your email. Stop obsessing about trying to figure out why that signal going to the projector is flickering sometimes it's because you need to have shielded Cat6 for your HDBaseT connection.
So back to my first question: If not us, then who?
Going further, let's take that question to the next level: If you, then what are the consequences? Are they good or bad consequences? Do you have boundaries setup in your life to help you make the right choices at work, at home, with your coworkers, and even yourself?
I'm not suggesting, though, that you don't listen to leadership when they ask for the impossible.
Instead, maybe look at how boundaries set up in your life could help you manage your time better, so you don't have to work 80 hours the week before Easter.
I pray that you think about all aspects of your life and how making a few changes with added boundaries can, as a result, improve it.