Finding Balance

We have probably all played on a Teeter Totter…

Teeter Totter 1

It seems that the playground of youth actually teaches something more than just playing to have fun. I remember riding the Teeter Totter when we were growing up in Seabrook. There were several.

Yes, just like everything else in life, this is also a dangerous playground experience. Along with the merry-go-round, swings, slide and anything else you grew up with. “Danger, danger, Will Robinson!”

Still, along with the danger there are some great learning experiences – probably something to do with the sciences, or math… maybe even the space program? Maybe it as simple as learning how to play well with others?

Hmmmm… Maybe this is where that geometry class of my youth comes into play? Or physics? How about first aid?

The object is to have someone sit on each end of the board. Taking turns you push off with your feet, and the board pivots on the center fulcrum. One time you are near the ground, and the next time you are in the air. Back and forth. Back and forth. Just like a swing goes back and forth. After a while you begin to wonder, “Am I having fun?”

Then learning steps in and you work on making the experience more efficient.

Placement, displacement, length of legs, weight of riders, force of launch, keeping your feet out from under the board, hanging on to the handles, keep your eye on your partner, try not to hurt each other!

When you think about play like this, then it almost seems to be like life. Considering that one person has complete power to keep the other person extended in the air, life often feels out of balance like this. You are suspended in the air, in an uncomfortable position, hanging on for dear life, and gravity pulls you forward that you almost feel like you will simply roll down the board and hurt yourself.

The perfect result of the game is like passing the baton in a race as each of you runs around the track. When you come back to a center point, you pass off the baton back to the person who had handed it off to you. Back and forth. Like a swing moving in an arch – forward and backward, upwards and downward – perfect harmony in moving through the span of distance the rope allows you, always coming back to the center.

I suspect there are lessons learned that we have simply forgotten over time, but if you think about it, from this you learn everything you need in order to effectively operate in life.

Finding Balance.

The apostle Paul tells us to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Cor 6:14). This Greek word is a combination of two words that essentially describe being “yoked differently”. Consider putting a horse next to an ox, and then trying to plow a field – two different animals, strides, strengths, temperaments. But the application points us to different aspects of life.

Marriage is a good application of this balance principle. Wise Solomon writes:

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD. (Proverbs 18:22 ESV)

Finding balance between the two of you is finding that perfect fulcrum between wants and needs. Finding a partner equal to your life’s plan and goals is necessary to be successful. This does not mean you have to find a duplicate of your personality, but knowing what does and doesn’t work with your identity is very necessary.

Over time you grow into each other’s unique way of thinking and living. You learn how to find balance between the seasons of your own personal life, as well as the life of your partner. Give and take. Ebb and flow, like the tide, the water never reaching the high point every time. Nor does it simply stay. It is always moving. It is like the sun revolving around the sun, tilting toward and then away. Planet earth shows us that the balance of motion creates certain seasons and we can make some pretty good plans of life depending on the arriving season.

The same is true in relationships. As your unity moves around the pivot of time, each of you find balance in how you revolve in and out of your own personal seasons, and the seasons of your marriage.

For 40 years my bride and I have learned the needs, and wants, of each other. We still find moments of surprise when each of us try and express our love and care for each other. There is no bank account to think of positive and negatives – i.e., one of us will go through many points of giving without expecting anything in return, and then be surprised when something is given back that we totally did not expect.

I would like to think we have a great balanced relationship. We do not like the same things, yet we often know how to finish each others thoughts. We do not like the same pace of life all the time, and we learn when to allow the other to speed ahead and eventually we catch back up with each other.

If you could define your world and share your successes and failures, what would these lessons say to others around you?