“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” ~ John 15:5
It’s all about balance…focus, equilibrium, training, self-discipline, and physical fitness. Walking an actual tightrope depends on all of that, and a lot of practice. Wikipedia says that walking a metaphorical tightrope is “trying to balance two opposing views with little room for compromise.” With an actual tightrope, those opposing forces are the rope or wire that holds you up, and gravity. You would think gravity would be the enemy of the person who is walking a tightrope, but while gravity is the force that would make you fall to the ground if you slipped, it also keeps your feet securely planted on that rope. Without gravity, you might not fall, but just drift away. The true enemy of any tightrope walker would be distraction…loss of focus on the goal.
Sometimes I feel like my spiritual life is like walking a tightrope between living in the world and keeping my heart and mind focused on God. If I focus entirely on God and spiritual matters, it is sometimes hard for me to take seriously the task at hand because I am not paying attention to what I need to accomplish in the present moment. But if I am too intent on my present circumstances, plans, and desires, I am in danger of losing my focus on God and drifting away. How do I achieve that balance to break free from worldly concerns, while still living fully in the world? Is that even possible?
I believe it all comes down to faith and trust: faith that God really does love me and that His plan is for my ultimate good, and trust that the path He has me on and the things I am supposed to accomplish here are valuable in the grand scheme of things. I have to continually seek God’s help to stay focused on His path forward while remaining grounded in the present, without becoming so consumed with my own worldly desires that I fall or drift away. I must stay mindful of God as I work to accomplish what I need to do each day. While God is my gravity, the opposing force would be my own worldly desires and my propensity to lose my focus on Him and fall away. How do we do that?
This relationship with Him is called a “daily walk.” It takes practice, training, self-discipline and spiritual fitness; but in doing the work to learn more about Him and get to know Him, you will achieve the most excellent, sublime, fulfilling relationship you can ever imagine. The more you pray, study His Word, and set aside time each day just to be still and focus on Him – even if it is only 10 minutes – the more you will encounter Him. And the more of Him you discover, the more you want to know, and the closer to Him you want to be. The best lesson God ever taught me was the value of walking with Him hand-in-hand and depending on Him to meet my every need, because that is the way I learned how very much He truly does love me. Seeking Him every day has led me to experience Him in ways that would otherwise not be possible in this life; and trust me…it is well worth the effort. His loving presence is truly the sweetest thing I know.
Prayer: Father, Thank you for your faithfulness in answering my prayers and hearing my cries for help when life is overwhelming and feels out of control. Even when I am not in control, I know that you are...and as I rest assured that I am firmly within your will and your care, I know there is no safer place to be. Give me the wisdom, Lord, to handle all that concerns me today. Help me walk the tightrope of this life and successfully balance the world’s demands on my time while keeping my focus on You. Holy Spirit, guide and direct me. Fill my heart with Your desires, fill my mind with Your thoughts and fill my mouth with Your words to encourage others to know and love You more each day. You are my most precious relationship, my ultimate prize, my greatest gift, my utmost desire and the promise of the life I will live with You in Eternity. As I function in this world today, help me to remain balanced and mindful of Your abiding presence, in Jesus' name, amen.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” ~ Proverbs 3:5-6
“God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NRSV)