Balance in our lives is something that everyone struggles with. We balance obligations and freedom; we balance work and play; we balance individual needs and the community. Life seems like a balancing act. Someone once described my job as Minister as one of those circus performers who tries to keep the plates up on the sticks – constantly needing to keep the stick and plate spinning or it all comes crashing down. I’m not sure it so much describes my job as life in general for all of us. We’ve all got plates spinning and we keep adding more energy to make them spin. But the problem with the metaphor is that we don’t often ask ourselves: “Is this plate worth spinning?” What might happen if we let a plate break (or two). Might we then find more time to do the things that are important? Is plate spinning what we want our lives to be about?
And how do you know which plate to drop? Well, if the plate breaks, would you miss it? If so, keep it spinning. If not, let it shatter. Or, does the plate affect others? Perhaps it is not your plate to spin…? Or you could ask for help. That’s the other problem with the metaphor. It assumes you are the only one who can make the plate spin. If you look around you might find others who are standing around with only a few plates. They can probably help.
OK, the metaphor may have gotten a bit out of hand (no pun intended). But the questions are still good to ask. They are good to ask about activities in our lives and at our church. What’s working? What isn’t? What needs to change? Where do we need help? As you go through this month, you are invited to see how to bring balance and harmony in your life by shifting around your plates. You might then find that plate spinning can be rather fun!