Work-life balance.

Lofty aspirations and suffocating guilt in just three little words. We’re told this balance is something you and I, and our spouses, should aspire to. And we fail repeatedly. (At least our spouses do!)

What does that even mean, to balance work with life? Isn’t work part of life? If everything else is living, then work is… what, exactly? Purgatory?

Besides, the whole notion of balance simply doesn’t fit in nature.

Winter doesn’t seek a balance between beach days and snow days. Fall doesn’t balance the leaf death toll with an equal number of new shoots.

New growth comes later, at its appropriate time, in the spring.

Solomon, the King and wisest of teachers, said that this is a good thing. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven… and God has made everything beautiful in its time.”[1]

Growing up, we used to sing, “He makes all things beautiful in his time”.

But that is not what Solomon said. God is not taking his sweet, old time, and we just have to wait. He says that God “…makes everything beautiful in its time.”[2] At the appropriate time. During the right season.

The beauty of the thing is attached to its timing.

A Christmas snowfall is a welcome sight. By late April? Not so much.

Beautiful in its season, “in its time”.

Life comes to us in seasons, too.

Kids grow and our lives change as a result. Parents age and our daily routines are profoundly affected. Work demands much and then leave us free to spend our days hunting for another job. Our relationships change. We change. We don’t live in a fixed state where a perfect routine will serve all our days. Much like nature, our lives are defined by seasons.

So, I am learning to lean into the season I am in.

Right now, this is a season of establishing new routines and building some consistency in our daily lives. It is a season of helping little ones transition and become comfortable in a new-to-them environment and language. We have not arrived at the rhythms and routines I long for, but the transition is a season in itself.

For now, I need to be where I am and not wish away this season of settling in.

Have you struggled with finding balance? Do you agree that you don’t need to find a perfect balance in order to live well?

What season do you find yourself in right now? Are you ever tempted to wish it away? How can you embrace your current season today?

 

 

 

[1] Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11

[2] Ecclesiastes 3:11, emphasis mine

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