Posts Tagged ‘New Year prayer’

juggling pinsWe all struggle with our desire for balance, that place of imaginary security. We all admire balance; we even envy it when we perceive others are living a more balanced life than we. But this balance we see and the balance we desire, is it from God? Is it from a need for God? Or is it personal, prideful gymnastics?

…  It takes all my effort and focus just to maintain this appearance of balance. How long I can continue the effort will depend on my resolve.

Eventually, in exhaustion, God offers me merciful futility. I fall down. Gratefully defeated.

There is an unbalanced balance that pleases God. You see it throughout the Bible. It’s only when I accept my imbalance and acknowledge how weak and crippled I am, that I become dependent on God.

That’s where I find the paradox of balance, leaning totally on Him. –  Stephen Shortridge, in Deepest Thanks, Deeper Apologies

One of my ongoing struggles is with balance. I sometimes feel like a tightrope walker. Sometime like a circus clown with a juggling act … a clown because if anyone were to look closely enough, they would realize how comical it really is. “Why are you trying to juggle that?” I’m not sure if I would have the answer. So I hope no one looks too closely while I keep up the act.

And I get frustrated when I drop a pin or two. Or I get annoyed that no one notices how hard I’m trying to maintain. Or I sink into a dark morass of self-inflicted disappointment, because of self-set goals I’ve missed.

And still, I try to find a balance.

I recently edited a project for a writer, who is also a painter. In order to get a better sense for his writing style, I began reading one of his previously published works: Deepest Thanks, Deeper Apologies. Something I read did more than whisper to me. It spoke, loudly: “This is you. Pay attention!” Maybe it was the timing. Maybe it was just the simple truths. But I saw myself in the above paragraphs.

Finding an unbalance balance. A strange paradox indeed. Unsettling, even undesirable. But sometimes it is necessary because maintaining a perfect balance requires motionlessness. But life itself requires movement, change, challenges. The passage I read and the resulting reflections drew me, on the threshold of a New Year, to make this my prayer …


Heavenly Father, it’s a New Year. I meant to have everything worked out, my goals and to-do list for the entire year. Okay, maybe not that, but in my mind I wanted everything figured out, and preferably on paper, so I know what to expect in order to decide in advance how I will tackle it.

An unbalanced balance must be what I need to embrace this year, at least in the beginning, because I see that a motionless balance will not be an option. Please help me with this, Lord.

I don’t have everything figured out and that’s okay. Rather than patting myself on the back because of my misguided sense of control, it will force me to depend on you. And that’s what I really want. Even when I don’t want it, it’s what I really need.

Forgive me for trying to figure it all out instead of resting in You and allowing You to work.

Help me to understand that the things I try to do without Your strength and guidance will only fall flat. And the things that You do through me, often almost without me even knowing or realizing, are the things that really matter. The things that go farther than those things I am grasping to control.

It’s the start of a new year. Let me be led by Your Spirit, guided by Your hand. Let these not be just words but the deep prayer of my heart. Help me to surrender to You in every way, even when it means giving up some of my so-called rights.

Lord, You had every right, and made Yourself a servant. 

Forgiving me for trying to make myself a master, of sorts, in my own mind and bearing. I know you have forgiven. Your grace is renewed each morning. Thank You for that. Help me to lean on You and in leaning, find my strength, my joy. My true balance.


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