I suggest we replace the quest for balance with the acceptance of rhythm
If it please the king, let it be decreed that they be destroyed, and I will pay 10,000 talents of silver into the hands of those who have charge of the king’s business, that they may put it into the king’s treasuries.” So the king took his signet ring from his hand and gave it to Haman the Agagite, the son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. And the king said to Haman, “The money is given to you, the people also, to do with them as it seems good to you.” (Esther 3:9–11)
“What is your goal for this year?” asked my friend. I chuckle now over my intensely serious response, “Balance. I want to have balance in my life.” I’m not sure what my younger thirtysomething mind and heart considered balance, but my older (and a bit wiser) self realizes that balance is an unattainable goal.
Margaret Feinberg offers a spot-on reason for balance as an unrealistic objective: “Sometimes life picks up speed without warning or slows down unexpectedly. Sometimes we’re pulled in many directions all at once. Sometimes we find ourselves pushed by our schedules, commitments, and unexpected needs in life. And any sense of balance is lost.”1
Military wives can certainly identify with the push of schedules, commitments, and life’s unexpected needs. Trying to keep all of these in perfect balance would be exhausting! No sooner would you get the plates spinning in synchronization, than something will come along to upset the momentum, and an inevitable crash happens. I suggest we replace the quest for balance with the acceptance of rhythm. Each season brings a new rhythm in which to keep time.
When the king selected Esther to be his queen, the trajectory of her life took a drastic turn. Her rhythm could have been one of others catering to her every need. I imagine royal servants on her right and left, perfectly poised to respond to any whim. She only needed to sit tight and enjoy her new life.
Esther’s life in the palace of the king caused her to enter into a rhythm she did not create. The wicked palace official Haman developed a plan to annihilate the Jews. He convinced the king that since the Jewish people did not follow the customs or appreciate the laws of the Persian king, they were of no use. The king’s signing and sealing of the decree with his signet ring set the destructive event in motion. Esther was forced into a season with a rhythm beating toward a crescendo of destruction already made law. Would she sit on the sideline and watch or would she play her part in the rhythm already in progress?
What we cannot see in this story is the obvious presence of God. In fact, the book of Esther does not mention God. Yet, God set the divine metronome beating out the rhythm for all the events in the book. What looked like coincidence in the life of Esther was God working to save a people who, generations later, would birth the Savior of the world.
How do you try to find balance in your life? What difference does it make to find the correct rhythm during your seasons of life as opposed to finding balance?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, I can exhaust myself trying to balance all my schedules, relationships, and responsibilities. Help me let you set the pace for my life for this season, for this day, and always. Amen.
1 Margaret Feinberg, A Time for Everything: Discovering the Beautiful Rhythms of Life (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2013), 7.