Last month my wife, Rachel, was in the hospital for surgery, and in her recovery room, posted on the wall, was a magnetic sign that read, “Hi Fall Risk!” (I think the nurses thought I was a little strange for taking pictures of the sign.)
After the procedures that Rachel had to endure were finished she was a bit wobbly, and the doctors wanted to let nurses and technicians know to be careful with Rachel’s balance. (Rachel is still recovering, but is at home and doing much better—thanks for asking.)
The picture made me think about how grateful I am to have hands and feet. Obviously this guy in the picture is a “High Fall Risk”—he has no hands or feet! This sign also made me think about when you and I find ourselves near a “Hi Fall Risk.” No, I don’t mean physically falling either. At 6’8″—300+ pounds the idea of me falling is not a pretty sight! I am talking about falling spiritually—which can lead to (I believe) falling in other areas of life as well. Don’t you think? Here are a few things that put me/us at a high risk of spiritual unbalance.
1. No time in God’s presence. I know I am guilty of this one. With 6 kids, a full time ministry, and about a half dozen side projects sometimes the only time I spend with God is when I am preparing a message or praying with other people. In order to remain “balanced” we all need to be spending time in God’s presence with no agenda other than to hear what God might want to say to us that day.
Jesus, in John 10, talks about the sheep that recognize the voice of the good shepherd. Are you spending enough time with God that you would recognize His voice and recognize what is NOT his voice?
1-5 “Let me set this before you as plainly as I can. If a person climbs over or through the fence of a sheep pen instead of going through the gate, you know he’s up to no good—a sheep rustler! The shepherd walks right up to the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate to him and the sheep recognize his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he gets them all out, he leads them and they follow because they are familiar with his voice. They won’t follow a stranger’s voice but will scatter because they aren’t used to the sound of it.” John 10:1-5
2. Accountability. Do you have trusted people in your life that you have given permission to hold you accountable? If there isn’t anyone in your life that you have trusted to see all parts of your life then often times, by the time you are falling and need help, the situation can end up being more of a recovery operation than a rescue mission. Don’t get me wrong—God can redeem all things, but why let a situation get farther than it should?
I will say that both Rachel and I have several people in our lives that care very deeply about us and would drop everything to make sure that we were OK. There are a few men in my life that I have given full permission to be honest with me about all areas in my life, and I have promised to listen and at least hear what they are trying to tell me—because I know they are sharing difficult things with me in love. However, it’s up to me to make sure I am being honest and asking for guidance and prayer.
16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. James 5:16
3. No Margins. Margins (or lack there of) has been one of my biggest growth areas over the last few years. Part of my maturing process has been learning that I can’t do it all, and understanding that I have to say, “No” to certain things in order to be healthy. I recently finished reading “Love Does” (Affiliate Link) by Bob Goff, and one of the things he says in that book really has helped me think about prioritizing what gets attention in my life and what doesn’t. (I highly recommend the book by the way)
“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I am more afraid at succeeding at things that don’t matter.” Bob Goff—Love Does (Affiliate Link)
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Ephesians 5:15-17
How about you? What helps you live a balanced faith journey? Have you had dry/fallen times, spiritually, where you needed help? What worked? What didn’t?
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