I read a book by a physician named Richard Swenson, The Overload Syndrome: Learning to Live Within Your Limits. Years ago I actually was able to be a part of a corporate retreat where Dr. Sewnsen was the speaker, talking about Margin in life. Perhaps you’re tired of running around wondering about what ever happened to your “spare time?” Do you dread going to work? Are your relationships strained from stress? Do you wish you could check into a hospital just to get some sleep?
Busyness. Stress. Overload. We all know the struggle of trying to handle the load of life in the American context. You don’t have enough time to do the things you have to, let alone those things you’d like to do. You feel tired, worn out, and burned out. These symptoms are signs that you’re suffering from a disease that affects millions of people, he calls it, The Overload Syndrome.
What can be done? A few of Swenson’s suggestions include:
- Make solitude a priority for resting and thinking.
- Deal correctly with possessions so they do not possess you.
- Combat media overload.
- Deal with information overload.
- Make wise choices.
- Lower expectations.
- Slow down and enjoy life.
I see much of our problem as being out of balance. Notice in this verse how Jesus grew in several ways:
Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people. (Luke 2:52)
A balanced life is characterized by order, peace, and wholeness. The parts of our life are as they should be and where they should be. Each part of the balanced life gets the right amount of time and effort at the right time. It’s not giving each part of life the same amount of time that makes life balanced; it’s giving each part the necessary amount of time.
The life of Jesus is a great example concerning balance. Throughout his life, Jesus was under constant pressure. Friends and enemies pursued him, yet when examining his life as recorded in the Bible, we see that he never hurried, that he never had to play catch up, and that he was never taken by surprise. He managed time well, bringing it under control, because he knew the importance of balance. Jesus’ life was well rounded. According to the Luke passage, he grew intellectually, physically, spiritually, and socially.
- Does your life reflect balance?
- Do you make time for intellectual growth? If you are too busy to read a book or engage in study that stimulates your mind, you are too busy.
- Do you make time for physical health? Many people burn out because of improper personal maintenance. Don’t be another fatality on the emotional highway. Take care of your physical self.
- Do you make time for your relationship with God? You always spend time with the ones you love.
- Do you feel too busy for prayer, Bible study, meditation, or personal devotion? Psalm 46:10 can be translated, “Take time and know that I am God.” The question is, “Will we do it?”
- Do you make time for primary relationships? Is adequate time provided for your spouse, family, and friends?
Only you can answer those questions honestly, and only you can take the necessary steps to bring order, harmony, and balance back in your life. Why not start today?