When we are on walks around town, my girls have this fascination of walking on ledges. Curbs by the side of the road, low walls, retaining walls, whatever they can find! They put their arms straight out to their sides like a lowercase “t” and place one foot in front of the other as they travel along these walls. I’ve watched them progress from crawling, to toddling while holding my hand or their dad’s hand, to walking on their own. Most of the time, they move easily through this space. They pick their way carefully and are aware of their surroundings.
There are times, though, that I have to remind them to be mindful of where they are going. Occasionally, they will pay more attention to what is going on next to them rather than what is right in front of them. Or they may lose their footing and they take a tumble. Though rarely they are hurt, usually a skinned knee or brush burned hand, it offers us a chance to talk about “what happened?” I have worked hard to prevent myself from yelling to them “Be careful!” Careful is an abstract idea that 6 and 2.5 year-olds have very little understanding of. Not knowing what long-term consequences are, I work to tell them, “watch in front of you!” or “let’s slow down a little bit!” There are times that I have to tell them, “no” completely.
Whether it is raining, there are too many cars, or the wall is too high, we take a minute to figure out if there is another choice we can make. I want them to be daring and to push themselves forward. I want them to explore and test the limits. AND, I want them to be safe. I have watched these little ones gain confidence in hard things and I have watched them become more adept at balancing their lives.
Striking a balance in our lives isn’t just for little ones on a curb learning where their center of gravity is. Balance needs to occur in our own lives as well. A balance of movement and rest. A balance of work and play. A balance of community and solitude. This is in every aspect of our lives, including our Spiritual Lives. During worship, you may have noticed I have added 60 seconds of silence before the sermon begins. This is an opportunity for us to sit quietly, meditate on the scripture, and center ourselves before the sermon. It’s a time to breathe. We will continue doing this together in worship.
You are also invited to come to “A Quiet Place” on Wednesday nights from 6:30-7PM to sit, reflect, and breathe. Come for the whole time, or just a few minutes. Gain your balance from a world that feels like it must constantly be busy and filled with noise. I invite you to come and breathe in the holiness of God in the sanctuary of our church. Come breathe in God’s quiet and tap into the Still Small Voice, the Deep Knowing, that is within us all. Having time to connect with God in silence helps us reclaim equilibrium in our lives and gives us a center again. Come connect.