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Life Happens in the Extremes

A hand pulls it back. The pendulum swings–back and forth. It’s been disturbed from its comfortable position. It may seem to the weight that it is careening out of control, but the string reaches the end of its arc and heads back the other direction, ready to repeat it all again.

Photo by Ben Ostrowsky (via Flickr)

I’ve felt like this many times. We are fed a line that life is all about balance. We have to keep everything perfectly set so that you get the best out of your life. It all sounds pretty good, and really who likes being swept up in all this swinging from one extreme to another?  There’s all this anxiety and feelings of being out of control, but I figured out that these things are necessary and not God (or life) being cruel.

That doesn’t mean it’s not uncomfortable, but I now see why we shouldn’t fear the extremes so much.

Sometimes it takes a jarring to wake us up, to rouse us from our comfortable routines and positions. It can be a circumstance or situation. It can be a promotion or new position of leadership. It can be a relationship, friendship, or mentorship.

All we know is for better or worse, we are pushed to the end of the line and we are forced to make decisions. Life is not balanced, but it is in rhythm.

Think about it: when is the only time you’re going to be perfectly balanced in life? When you’re dead. Everything then will be decided and untouchable, but for now, we have opportunity to grow, transform, learn, adapt, advance, get knocked down, get back up again (you’re never gonna keep me down), fail,  achieve, and so much more.

This is what life is all about.

The most dramatic change happens when you’re off balance.

I think about the most “extreme” extreme of all–turning your life, desires, and heart over to Jesus. You recognize you can’t do with it what He can, that you fall short but He gives grace. By faith, you’re forgiven of sins and receive the love lavished upon you that you would be called a child of God. You choose death so that you can live.

How balanced does that sound?

I don’t mean to say there aren’t minor corrections or smaller lessons, but nobody has a problem with those. We get antsy about those extremes, but we can trust God.

According to Philippians 1:6, He who started the good work in you (feel the breeze as you swing) will continue and perfect it (and we’re swinging the other direction). He’s producing great things in us.

What do you think? Am I right or wrong? Have you found God (and change) in the extremes?


This post is included as part of the One Word blog carnival hosted by Peter Pollock where this time the topic is Swings. Head on over to read all the posts there.

40 Comments

  1. Another great Post.
    I could feel that breeze as life swings by. As a child I was entranced by the pendulum swinging back and forth and ever balanced!
    Hazel Moon recently posted..Porch SwingMy Profile

    • Thanks so much Hazel! Really appreciate it.

  2. Hi Jason I just love what you write here very inspiring. Yes, I always agree life is pretty much unpredictable. Sometimes when I’m in doubt I always pray and turn to God. No matter how difficult life is I know that in a long run GOD never leaves us nor forsake us.
    alexa gustafson recently posted..Best hair loss productsMy Profile

    • Thanks Alexa.

  3. I must appreciate you knowledge on this particular old subject. I love that you have taken our turning our lives over to Christ as the most out of balance thing we can do. Looking forward to your future posts, thanks for this precious post.
    James recently posted..ForexMy Profile

    • Thanks James.

  4. Right on, Jason. I recommend a book along these lines by Bruce B. Miller. It’s called “Your Life In Rhythm” (there’s also a book “Your Church In Rhythm”).

    One section is all about how balance is bunk and actually leads to greater stress. Largely for the same reasons you mention in this post.

    I love it when people bash balance! We need more bashing and more embracing of the rhythm of life.
    Scott Couchenour recently posted..15 Things You Could Be Doing Instead Of WorryingMy Profile

    • Sound like great books! And thanks. I just feel like in light of scripture, we can’t really argue for balance. The only one who can be balanced is God as every facet of His character is infinite and perfect.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Jason Stasyszen - So many great comments & conversations in today's post: Life Happens in the Extremes http://ow.ly/5O3GG
  2. Scott Couchenour - @br8kthru has a post about life being at the extremes. You need to read it: http://t.co/3iJPDlas
  3. Jason Stasyszen - RT @servingstrong: @br8kthru has a post about life being at the extremes. You need to read it: http://t.co/cb2CMnrE <<thanks Scott!

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