Having had some time off for exhaustion I’ve been reflecting on balance: has my life been too skewed to work, how do I get re-energised. One of my big questions was whether or not Jesus led a balanced life.
Many of us initially perceive Jesus as being a busy man. But actually, how did Jesus spend his time on earth? As you read through the gospels it becomes clear that Jesus really did have a very balanced life. There were times when he was really busy but those were usually balanced with more relaxed times when he walked and talked with his friends or withdrew into the hills to pray. Here were some things I’ve spotted:
- The Jewish rhythm of prayer several times a day focussed him onto God rather than ministry or work.
- He seems to have had a good balance between work and rest, community and solitude, feasting and fasting.
- Jesus never made a major decision without spending at least a night in prayer. How many less mistakes would we make and how much more relaxed a lifestyle would we lead if we had even a fraction of that commitment?
- Jesus focussed on community rather than work – community slows us down, encourages us when we are stressed, helps us to discern what we should and should not be doing.
- Busy times of work and teaching the crowds and disciples were always balanced with times of solitude, praying, meditating, and renewing his focus on God.
- Everywhere that Jesus went there was a party. Jesus was constantly celebrating life with enthusiasm; from the time that he performed his first miracle at a wedding, he was constantly encouraging people to enjoy life with enthusiasm. How often do I lack that enthusiasm and sense of fun.