Conversations with my granddaughter: Maintaining balance
Hello little one,
It is wonderful you are starting to walk on your own. As you
pick yourself up and move forward by placing one foot before the other, I can
see that you are learning to maintain balance by adjusting your arms and your
body. It is obvious that you are not doing it consciously because you are more
focused on getting to where you want to be. Day by day, I can see that you are
improving your balance. Soon, little one, you will walk as well as all the
other big people. I will not be surprised you will soon be running.
Maintaining balance is something we all learn to do. Big
people have to learn to maintain balance too. Not in walking as you do but in
balancing the priorities in their busy lives. Life, you will soon learn, is a
balancing act. Some big people have more things to balance. Others have less.
Yet, all have to learn to balance if they are to achieve the target they set
themselves so as to get to where they want to go. In my work, Grampa has to
balance the roles of being a clinician-university professor and pastor-theologian.
(Well, Grampa is not actually a pastor but we are talking about the role here
rather than the title. Little one, we will talk about big people and their fixation
with titles another time). Grampa also
has to balance my time taking care of family (which includes you, little one),
household, health and time with God, the Father of all big and little people.
That is a lot of things to keep track of and to balance.
Grampa keeps balance by continually adjusting the different
roles so that equilibrium is achieved. Like when you walk, your body gets feedback
and makes the necessary adjustments. Grampa keeps his balance by being
sensitive to feedback and making adjustments. This is only possible because
Grampa has a lot of help from other big people. Some help him in his roles and
support him in many ways. Others pray for strength and stamina for him to keep
balance. Aside from physical support, Grampa
is sustained by the love of people around him. Love is a powerful force to energize especially
when Grampa is tired, discouraged or depressed. You know what that feels like,
little one? Remember the times when you fall down and cries? Then Mummy picks
you up and suddenly everything is alright.
Like you, Grampa keeps balance by focusing on where is he is
going. The big people have a big word for this. They call it ‘vocation’. Grampa
understands it as living a life that is glorifying to God. Grampa may not be successful
all the time. He has fallen down many times. Like you, Grampa gets up and tries
again. Grampa has learned that it is not
the number of times that he falls but that he tries. Little one, God has
created the necessary nerves, muscles, bone and sensory feedback mechanisms in
your body for you to walk on your own. Grampa
also believes that God has given him the necessary gifts and talents to
maintain his balance. Like you, he often falls especially when he gets
distracted or when the floor is uneven. Keeping focus is important to
maintaining equilibrium. Sometimes life may throw a curve ball and knock us
down. We just need get up and try again.
Grampa and grandma learned something about the Olympics
games in Greece. In ancient Greece, the running tracks were sandy and uneven.
When the runners start from one end of the track, they stirred up a lot of dust
so often they cannot see the finishing line. These athletes have someone
holding and waving colored cloths. The runners focus on running towards their colored
cloths in spite of not being able to see where they are going. This gives context
to what the apostle Paul wrote, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners
run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize [towards
the colored cloth!]. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict
training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown
that will last forever.…do it all for the glory of God“ (1 Cor. 9:24-25; 10:31b).
Living life is keeping our balance with our priorities in
equilibrium in the context of all who love us so that we may live our lives to
the glory of God. This is my prayer for you, little one, that as you learn balance
in walking, you will also learn to balance your priorities when you grow up in
the company of those who love and support you.