Thursday, February 02, 2012

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony.

Happy February! It hardly seems possible that February is here... especially since here in Ohio the weather is unbelievably temperate. And yet, here we are... the start of a new month.

I've been doing a lot of thinking/reflecting/praying about balance lately. It seems to me that in recent years we hear a lot about the importance of living a life in balance. We hear it in health news and in spiritual reading... in books on leadership and articles on religious life. I seem to be surrounded by messages about balance. Therefore, I pray for the grace of finding balance.

A metaphor that people often use to talk about a balanced life is that of someone juggling. There's a ball labeled "prayer" and another labeled "community." There's one labeled "ministry" and one for "rest." Then, of course, there's "friendship" and "solitude"... "intellectual growth" and "care for self"... the list is actually endless.

What has often occurred to me, however, is the fact that those balls are not always all the same size... some weigh more than others depending on other life circumstances. So, for me the question isn't "How do I keep all the balls in the air... all the time." But, "Which ones are the most weighty?"...

The issue for me isn't so much one of "balance"... that terribly elusive ideal. But, rather, prioritizing and then saying "no". I absolutely stink at prioritizing things. I just want to get that out there. I'm good at addressing those things that seem urgent... and every once in a while the urgent things are actually important. However, there are important things that are not necessarily "urgent" that I can't seem to get a handle on. You know what I mean? It seems to me that I could even go so far as to say that I find motivation in urgency.

That's bizarre, isn't it? Has that been influenced by the culture? One in which instant gratification, stress and caffeine seem to be the fuel of choice? Or is it a question of maturation? There is much to ponder on this oddly warm February day...

Each morning Marianists renew our dedication to Mary and to her mission of bringing Christ to the world. I was struck this morning with the words of one of them that seem appropriate... I'd like to share it with you:
Mary, you pondered in your heart
all the awesome, confusing, and marvelous events of your life.
You considered carefully what God might want of you
and then abandoned yourself to God's goodness and your vocation.
Teach us to treasure and ponder,
to consider and surrender
so that, living religious life in your name and for your honor,
we might come to that blessedness
promised to all your sons and daughters,
the children of God.
Abundant blessings to all who read this!
Sr. N

1 comment:

Mark said...

... and then you add in the fact that prayer and community affect everything we do...