When someone asks you if your life is balanced, what two things do you immediately start comparing: time at work v. time at home? Time with friends v. time with family? Hours spent watching tv or gaming v. hours of sleep? Money spent for “stuff” v. money saved? These are but a few of the possible combinations of things that are weighed against each other and over which we have complete control, although we often feel we have none.
Yes, we are all very familiar with the concept of balance: balanced life, balanced diet, etc. and what that balance or imbalance would look like if it could be placed on a scale. It is important to examine what you put your focus and energy into to be healthy physically, mentally, financially, and relationally. So yes, let’s talk about balance, but from a different perspective.
Stop and think: “Where are my thoughts focused most often – on my past, my present, or my future?”
I would be willing to bet that a lot of people, if completely honest, will say either past or future. Many are haunted by the ghosts of their past – hurts, challenges, failures, disappointments, regrets, etc. They seemingly can’t let go of the “what if’s”, “if only’s”, and “coulda, shoulda, wouldas”. Or they may have a past that was good – a happy life full of fond memories, successes, and such, but they are trying so hard to re-live that past, they miss out on the present.
Others are living in fear of the future and its specters which cause uncertainty, worry, and fear: “Will I be able to retire and have enough money?” “What if I get sick? Who will take care of me?” “What will I do if my husband/wife dies? I’ll be so lonely.” “How will we be able to send our kids to college?” Again…they make themselves victims of “what if’s” that may never happen. And some are so focused and working so hard to create their ideal future, they, too, miss out on the blessings of today.
If you were to place the amount of time your thoughts are focused on your past and future on a set of scales, which way would they tip? How can you minimize their weight on the scales and have a balanced life?
The key is the part which is thought of the least.
Look at these scales. What do you see? Two plates holding the amount of your mental energy focusing on your past and future. That’s the purpose of the scales – to measure and compare two things. But what about the base and pillar, the part that holds the scales? Without these, the scales would be sitting on a surface, on the same level, and a measurement cannot be made. So, we lift the scales and place the beam to which they are connected on the tip of the pillar. If the pillar is too narrow, the beam will sit precariously on the tip and risk falling. But if the pillar is wider, the beam and its scales will be able to handle more weight and it will become easier to balance the two.
You may have figured out already that the pillar is today; specifically, the amount of mental energy you spend focused on today. The more you live In the Moment – today and every today that follows – the wider your pillar will become, and it will allow you to let go of past hurts or disappointments. It will help you think more clearly about your future and what can be done today to help your plans and dreams come into existence.
A wide pillar allows you to look at the past, not with regrets, but with a mind open to learning lessons you can use today and for the future. A wide base and pillar is an indicator of the choices you make…the better the choices, the wider the base.
What can you do today to broaden and strengthen your base?
Today you can do something that will bring joy to you and those around you.
Today you can share your thoughts, your dreams, with people who love you.
Today you can say you’re sorry and begin a path to healing a relationship.
Today you can laugh from your belly or cry from your heart. Both can leave you feeling better than you did before.
Today you can eat healthy and exercise.
Today you can read something positive and uplifting.
Today you can pray.
Today you can do the thing you’ve been putting off.
Today you can look at your past, learn from it, then use it to start creating a better tomorrow.
Today you can decide to leave past hurts where they belong…in the past…and break their power over your self-worth. It’s a process that takes time, but there’s no better time to start the process than today.
Today you can give to another -- a part of yourself, a part of your belongings, or a kind and encouraging part of your mind.
Today you can give yourself some peace.
Today you can take the first step toward a new habit…one that will make you better physically, mentally, spiritually, relationally, financially, and healthy.
Today is here, now. It wasn’t with you yesterday; it will be gone tomorrow. It is yours to take and do with as you please. But understand that today is only here once, so decide how you want to live it, then do so fully. And when tomorrow becomes a new Today, do it all again.
And remember what Jesus said,
“So don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries.
Today's trouble is enough for today.” Matt. 6:34 NLT
I am not trying to tell you that there will be no troubles…there will be, just as Jesus said. But if you will live today and make the most of it, you will learn how to handle those troubles when they come, and you will be blessed.
So, I ask you this…What will you do TODAY?
(Share it with me and others in the Comments below.) And keep reading for a special treat!
"The past is a guidepost, not a hitching post."
L. Thomas Holdcroft
“Stop paying rent for the space in your mind where fear of the future resides.
Evict that tenant!”
"Always remember that the future comes one day at a time."
"The present moment, if you think about it, is the only time there is.
No matter what time it is, it is always now."
PS: On our walk this morning, I heard a song play on the Message that I hadn’t paid much attention to in the past (😊). It jumped out at me, so Today I post this link with my blog post (that I’ve written Today). God Bless!!!
Matthew West - What If (Official Music Video) - Bing video