the myth of balance
A few years ago at a conference, I asked the participants to list their top 5 priorities in order. After they finished, I asked how many had a hard time. Most hands went up. I asked how many of them made their lists based on "shoulds" and many hands went up. Then I asked them how many had a hard time keeping those priorities straight on a daily basis. All hands went up. The truth is, that is how it should be.
We live with a myth and are told through numerous means that we are to live a life of balance every day. We have been given the idea that life is to be driven by stacked priorities that must be kept daily. But we don't and we were never intended to. Other than "seeking first the kingdom of God" everything else changes as the days come. Ecclesiastes was right when it said "there is a time for" this and that. Seasons come and go with different emphasis. Ask farmers. Ask school teachers. Anyone who is in ministry will tell you that it is difficult to keep everything in balance during Holy Week. But we too often live with constant guilt that we haven't given equal or proportionate time to everything and everyone in our life on a daily basis.
This isn't to say that balance doesn't have a place. But it is balance OVER TIME. This is why at least a day a week is set aside as Sabbath. Without that, our lives have no chance to get ready for the next season. At another workshop for clergy, at least a 1/3 of the clergy present indicated they never took a day off. No wonder every month 1,500 clergy leave the ministry.
On a daily basis, the primary thing is to remember who comes first and is always first. Time with God to find out what needs your attention is critical. Some days it is family next. Other days it is the job. Some days it is personal time for yourself. Other days it is the sermon that has to get written. Most days God will indicate something is the "A" item for the day and you need to take care of it first and then address other needs.
So let go of the guilt because your day isn't balanced. Remember, much of the joy we have in life comes from those unbalanced days!