Guidelines: Find the Balance


By Simon Ambit

With spring in full swing many of us find ourselves planting Lilly bulbs, trimming the hedges and tackling the labyrinth of tasks that lie among the boundaries of the garden.

I have often been told that successful gardening takes a green thumb; I don’t discount that. However, it has been my experience that it also requires brown fingernails, black and blue knees and tanned brows.

Among all of the hard work, there must also exist an eco-centric harmony among the natural conditions. If the tiny little seeds placed amidst the soil are to germinate, sprout and thrive through to maturity and into the contribution of the harvest, balance is needed. Think about it for a moment. If the seed is placed down in the most fertile of soils and is never watered, it simply withers and wastes. If the plant receives only initial watering and then is cut off, it will sprout out into the freshness of the crisp morning air and will shortly be overtaken by the scorching afternoon sun. Take away that same solar source and the plant will surely fail to survive. Too much water and the plant drowns, too much sun and the plant becomes parched and barren. Some insect activity serves as a beneficial pollination source, too much can harm the plant or destroy the leaves. Plants nearby one another can serve as a protection and benefit against the elements. Too close, however, and the different root systems begin to contend for the same nutrient sources and all the plants can suffer or starve. A natural balance is needed.

As I walked in the back door today and dragged my lunch box and what was left of myself across the kitchen floor, I thought about nature’s need for balance and how we humans are no different. We also need to find and maintain balance in our lives. We simply cannot work all of our time away, yet we cannot sit on the couch and expect to change a situation with the push of a button like the channels on the television set. We cannot effectively deal with the pressure, the stress, the rigorous work routines, etc., if we do not find time to unwind, to recreate, to relax and to have fun!

If you are like me, your schedule does not lack for “what to do’s.” Rather the challenge likely lies somewhere between the “when to do’s” and the “no way to do it all’s!” If we do not balance our time and our lives, we may find that we are giving the largest part of ourselves to our job and then gathering up the leftovers and serving them up to our family at the end of the day. All this and then realizing that we are out of reserve when it comes to the demands or desires of the yard work, pets, church, neighbors, friends, the grocery list, the leaky faucet, a hobby, time for ourselves and so on.

I propose that we take a simple inventory of how we are balancing our time. Are we saturating some areas with all of our time, while at the opposite swing of the pendulum other areas of our lives are suffering from a drought? Life is good, live the balance.