Maintain a Balance

Mar 3, 2023

Are you feeling as if you’re in a season of rushing instead of a slowed season of introspect and quiet for Lent? Maybe this reflection by Fr. Michael Schleupner will help you with finding balance for your spiritual wellness. This is the 9th blog in this series, so if you’ve missed the others, please scroll through our blog to learn more.

Spiritual Wellness – 9
Maintain a Balancespiritual blog

Dear Friends,
Trying to keep a balance between work and time for myself is sometimes a challenge for me. I find myself evaluating this, usually wondering if I am devoting too many hours to ministry and not reserving enough for myself as a person. This kind of balance is important for all of us. It is an ingredient of spiritual wellness.

I look to the Scripture for the basis of this balance. The Book of Genesis speaks of God both working and resting. God works to create the light, and the sky, the earth and vegetation, the sun and moon and stars, the fish and birds, the animals, and finally human beings. At the end of each of the six days of creation, we are told that “God saw how good it was. Evening came, and morning followed…” (Genesis 1:1-31). The implication is that God rested at the end of each day. And then, to top it off, we read, “Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken” (Genesis 2:2). So, the One in whose image we are made seems to have balanced work and rest. A lesson for us!

I also look to Jesus. Frequently the gospels tell us something like this: “Rising very early before dawn, Jesus left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed” [Mark 1:35]. Or, after a long day and feeding the 5,000, “he went up on the mountain by himself to pray” (Matthew14:23). Jesus did his first miracle when he was having a good time at a wedding reception (John 2:1-12) and he often hung out with friends and others over a nice meal (for example, Luke 5:27-29, 10:38-42, 19:1-10). The point here is that Jesus pulled away from teaching and healing and had time for himself to pray, to relax, and to enjoy life.

So, the above Scriptural background makes a statement to me and to all of us. Try to keep a good balance between work and leisure. Our time off will be restorative. It will put us in touch with God who created us, who made work a good thing and who also rested. It will place us in communion with Jesus who seems to have had a good balance of work and time for himself. Most of us work hard and so, working enough is probably not the issue. The issue is to have enough time away from work – to exercise, enjoy family and friends, read, watch a movie, get enough sleep, and yes, to pray. This balance is an essential ingredient of our spiritual wellness.

~Father Michael Schleupner

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