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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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A centered life

Dramatic mixture of brokenness, grace

I have grown weary trying to lead a balanced life. I make that confession with both caution and regret, for I realize that a balanced life is both good and desirable.

My failure to achieve balance can have serious—even grave—consequences. Failure to balance the competing demands on my time means something inevitably suffers—my prayer life, relationships with family and friends, self-care and work. Without balance in diet and exercise, my body pays a significant price. That is true for all of us.

I agree with Dr. John E. Kirkpatrick’s contention ("Living a balanced life") that “we seem to know what we should do. Doing it is the tough part. To live a healthy, balanced life we should fight the trends by taking charge.”

My concern is this: striving to achieve and maintain balance functions like God’s law. It reveals both God’s desired intent and my failure and sinfulness. Achieving balance becomes one more theme in the human myth of self-mastery: I will have saved myself from myself.


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