I’m not usually a sucker for YouTube videos, but I watched one recently that showed a number of older gentlemen standing on a giant teeter-totter. The men successfully “teeter” once, but as they try to “totter” . . . well, it resembles human dominoes and it seems that some really get hurt.
After I watched the video a second time, I realized it’s actually kind of an accurate representation of society lately. Whether we’re talking cultural opinions, politics, social causes, health concerns, job struggles, mental health issues, or school reopenings, it feels like we’re losing balance—and everything is crashing.
Mind if I share the two things I turn to that help me regain my balance?
1. Find God’s footing. About two thousand years ago, Jesus was talking to a large crowd of people—men, women, and children of different cultures, incomes, and ages who had different worries, concerns, and pressures. (Basically, people just like us.) He didn’t promise their lives would be easy but that staying focused on him and putting his words into action would give them stability:
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. (Matthew 7:24-27)
You can’t “hear these words of mine” if the only words you are listening to are on the news or on social media. You hear Jesus’ words in the Bible. (If you don’t have one, you can download apps pretty easily.) Sometimes these words aren’t always easy to understand, which is why it’s awesome to have them explained and discussed in small Bible study groups with people you are close to, in church (whether in person or online), or through awesome ministries like Time of Grace. (Sure, I’m biased about that, but it doesn’t mean it’s less true.)
Then you “put them into practice” when you . . .
2. Live your life. About two thousand years ago, God sent Jesus to live a perfect life for us and punished him for our mistakes and sins. Now, as part of God’s family, you have purpose: “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2: 10).
As a member of Jesus’ family, you are part of an enormous network of people God has positioned around this broken world to tend to the myriad hurts we see. You get to stay focused (guilt free) on your good works because you know other Christians are focused on their jobs.
Other people may not understand. They may judge you, yell at you, and shame you because you aren’t doing what they want you to do. That’s okay. Their opinions are shifting sand. What God says about you—and the job he has for you—is rock solid.
Linda Buxa is a writer and editor who thinks it would be pretty fun (and funny) to get a group of friends to try that giant teeter-totter—if it wasn’t too high off the ground and maybe if there were cushy mats to fall on.