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By Joy Ballard
It’s tough to maintain the balance between spiritual and practical in everyday life. On the spiritual side, one could pick a passion to pursue out of millions of global issues. But at the end of the day, who will do the dishes?
The Balance Between Spiritual and Practical
Balancing the intensity and the practicality of life can be tricky. Even frustrating.
I read the news with a heavy heart. Meanwhile, my toddler whines about something comparatively insignificant.
My morning plan of reading the Bible is interrupted by my husband who wants to chat logistics.
Tears run down my face as a podcast speaks to my heart, but I turn it off due to the insensitive noise of my kids.
Everything inside me wants to cry out for what seems to matter more. But the practical side of life still calls out daily.
The Dirt Road of a Passionate Life
Imagine a narrow dirt road with a ditch on either side representing the extremes.
On one side is the Singular Passion Person. In the best case scenario, she’s so obsessed that she accomplishes great things and makes it into the history books. In the worst case scenario, she steamrolls over everyone standing in the way of her success.
In the other ditch is the Passionately Overwhelmed Person with too many big things to care about. She is frazzled and stressed. She stands on the more slippery side of the road.
We can easily fall into having so many great things to accomplish that we don’t do anything well. Or worse, we become burnt out and apathetic.
The sweet spot is in the middle of the road. But it’s a dirt road, remember? Sometimes it can be a muddy mess or a cloud of dry dust blocking the way. There are rocks, twists and turns we didn’t expect.
This is life: unexpected, messy, adventurous.
Striking the Balance Between Spiritual and Practical
There is no exact recipe for life that reads 60% spiritual and 40% practical. There is no chart for how much focus to spend on calling vs. parenting vs. marriage.
Why? Because Jesus loves relationships, not formulas.
He is the King, but he is also a Friend on the journey. We get to ask for his advice and direction along the way.
We not only have a relationship with him but also with the other imperfect humans in our life.
I have learned that I need to hold my feelings as valid while also loving the people in front of me. I can acknowledge the heaviness or urgency while also delighting in the silliness of my toddler. I can pursue Jesus while also being willing to see him in the interruptions that come.
How Jesus Struck a Balance Between Spiritual and Practical
Jesus struck the balance between spiritual and practical. One of my very favorite Bible verses is Luke 24:41 NIV. Jesus rises from the dead and joins his friends who are hiding out in a house. They think he’s a ghost and he proves he isn’t by showing them his scars, but also by asking, “Do you have anything here to eat?”
He takes us from the miracle of resurrection to the essentials of sharing a meal with friends. And that is the mystery of living a passionate life for Jesus. It’s bigger than life and also as simple as a kid’s smile.
The balance is in the act of holding the depths of God and the heart of a child in each hand. And the method is different every day and every season.
Wife Step: How are you doing with holding the balance between the big things in your life and the little needs all around you? What do you need to add or subtract?
Joy was born and raised in a multicultural, bilingual family in the country of Mexico. Although she loves a good taco, her love for a Minnesota guy won out. 14 years of marriage, 4 kids and many geographical locations later, they now reside in Indiana where her husband is completing a doctoral program. Together they love helping couples discover the incredible adventure marriage was intended to be. They have led many marriage small groups, ministries and retreats, but their favorite way to connect with other couples is by simply sharing life together. When not deep in the throes of homeschooling and parenting, Joy enjoys devouring books, stringing words together, dabbling in watercolor, and sipping coffee with friends. Photo credit: Woodford Sisters Photography