I'm realizing that my notion of 'shalom' when everything is in perfect balance...when I'm investing in friendships, family, church, community, future, finances all at just the right amounts is unrealistic this side of Eternity.
I think the image I'm resonating with is that of a plate spinner, who tries to simultaneously have all his/her plates spinning on different sticks. Most the time in my life, I can tell when one of my plates is losing momentum. It's one thing to identify it. It is another thing completely to be defeated or consumed by it.
Being defeated is something I preached on awhile back. There is a cycle that we go through (particularly Christians in their devotional life.) We feel guilty about something (like maybe I'm not reading my Bible as much as I want...or maybe I am not praying enough...or I'm not spending enough time with Shaina)...so we vow to try harder...and we get up earlier to pray and study or set aside date nights...as we try harder in our own strength, we get tired/burnt out...so then we tend to give up...then after awhile we feel guilty about giving up and the cycle starts all over.
Being consumed will lead us to an early grave. I look at the plates that I have to keep spinning from here until the end of the year, and there is a temptation to be consumed with it...to stress out...frantically run from plate to plate.
Here's the deal...God didn't give the Israelites a miniscule amount of manna...that they had to frantically go around trying to collect for fear that it would run out. He gave them exactly what they needed. You couldn't store the manna...for it rotted overnight. He wanted His people to know that He would provide them with exactly what they needed. If we need bread, he won't give us a stone. He's a good God. You have exactly what you need to be fine today. Quit throwing in the towel and quit being high strung and just get r done.