As a science major, I spent my fair share of time in chemistry classes during college. I wish I could say that I draw heavily from my hours of past study in my present life in ministry and motherhood; however, outside of recognizing organic chemistry nomenclature in cleaning ingredient lists, that degree is gathering dust. The one lasting impression left on my life from years of chemistry is a deep desire for life to balance like an equation.
As strange as it sounds, I loved stoichiometry. If you stared long enough and thought hard enough, you could find out exactly where everything belonged. It might have taken some trial and error, but chemical equations could be perfectly balanced.
Unbeknownst to me, I have carried such a chemical approach into calendaring and life. I keep thinking that if I could simply buy the right calendar or rearrange the pieces of my life enough, I would find the balance our culture touts and trains us to find. Perhaps you are like me. Perhaps you are drawn to cute calendars and colored pens because you desperately want to achieve the perfect balance of work and rest.
Unfortunately, life is not stoichiometry. Souls and sentient life are so much harder to pin down and arrange.
When Balance Betrays Us
Balance and efficiency, in and of themselves, are not wrong. In fact, we desire them because God ordered the world that we might have them. In fact, in the creation accounts in Genesis 1 and 2, we see a beautiful balance of work and rest. God gloriously created the earth and all it boasts. Then he stopped and savored the fullness of the fruits of his labor. Adam and Eve were invited into such a rhythm of careful, yet carefree work and rest. Just as God had balanced the earth on its axis, humanity experienced a God-enabled, God-created balance.
When we betrayed our Creator, our balance betrayed us. Labor became laborious. Work became wearying (Genesis 3). Separated from our Master and our metronome, human hearts went haywire, as did the human approach to work and rest. Ever since then, we have sought to return to the life we left on our own strength and by our own devices…