Below are some additional interactions on the article: Life—It’s a Balancing Act. Read it first.
Many students drastically underestimate the amount of sleep they need to function well in school and the other areas of their lives. Take a look at this series called Inside the Teen Brain by Frontline, especially the 10-minute segment titled From ZZZZZ’s to A’s.
There by the Ahava Canal I gave orders for us all to fast and humble ourselves before our God and to ask him to lead us on our journey and protect us and our children and all our possessions. I would have been ashamed to ask the emperor for a troop of cavalry to guard us from any enemies during our journey, because I had told him that our God blesses everyone who trusts him, but that he is displeased with and punishes anyone who turns away from him. So we fasted and prayed for God to protect us, and he answered our prayers.
One way that countless followers of Christ have sought out balance in their lives is through the spiritual discipline of fasting. This doesn’t just pertain to food. You can fast from talking, watching TV, eating sugar, and many other things. It’s a great tool when we have become off balance. If you are spending too much time socializing and not enough time focused on your relationship with God, a talking or social media fast might be a good idea. If you can’t control your eating when you are upset, fasting from food and making sure to pray rather than eat during those overwhelming times will be a really good exercise for you.
If fasting is something you are interested in and you think you want to explore it, do so with the guidance and accountability of a leader, chaplain, or parent. They can help you stay on track and make sure you are doing everything correctly. Give it a try! You will be so glad you did!
For some additional information and 7 steps to fasting, click here.
Having emotional health is vital to a well-balanced life. If you are ever overwhelmed and wondering if you might need to talk to someone who is a professional, take this quiz as a quick check on where you are emotionally. You may find just talking for an hour can make you feel more balanced and ready to face life.
3 John 1:2
Deuteronomy 6:4–7—This passage from the Old Testament is called the Shema. This is where the idea of S.P.I.E.S originates. Can you identify the five aspects in these verses?
1 Thessalonians 5:23–24
Luke 2:52—Even Jesus worked on balance and growth throughout his life!
2 Timothy 1:7—Maybe the idea of balancing your life seems like a daunting task. Just keep this verse in mind when you are feeling overwhelmed. The Holy Spirit is present with you to help your heart and mind and body.
Galatians 5:22–24—Here we see what finding balance through our faith can produce in our lives.
Ephesians 5:1–4—This passage gives us some guidance on how to balance our lives. Notice that all of the areas of S.P.I.E.S. are addressed!
Proverbs 1:2–7—If you want a resource for both spiritual and intellectual growth, check out Proverbs!
2 Peter 1:3–9
Small Group Guide:
This is a great spoken word video by Jefferson Bethke. As you watch, notice how he addresses every area of S.P.I.E.S. (Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Social).
Large Group Guide:
- Make a list for each area of S.P.I.E.S. and write down everything you can feasibly do to grow in those areas each day. Circle one from each section you want to begin working on and tape the list somewhere you will see it often.
- Reread the Story and write down each thing that Devin did that brought some balance to his life. If you aren’t already doing them, start this week! They are good habits for everyone to have and will always help your life be more balanced.
- Pick any passage (or part of it) from the Scripture sections. Memorize it this week. Put it by your bed, fridge, locker, or somewhere you will see it multiple times a day.
When life feels like it’s too much to handle and you are trying to find your balance, listen to this playlist and think about how what the artists say does or doesn’t line up with what God calls us to do and the promises he has made to those who follow him.
Read through the following passage and rewrite it in your own words. Consider how each part of S.P.I.E.S. (Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Emotional, Social) are being addressed here. Something you might find interesting; these are the first instructions the Israelites got after years as slaves to the Egyptians. They were very out of balance and had no clue what it meant to serve the Lord.
“Now, people of Israel, listen to what the LORD your God demands of you: Worship the LORD and do all that he commands. Love him, serve him with all your heart, and obey all his laws. I am giving them to you today for your benefit. To the LORD belong even the highest heavens; the earth is his also, and everything on it. But the LORD‘s love for your ancestors was so strong that he chose you instead of any other people, and you are still his chosen people. So then, from now on be obedient to the LORD and stop being stubborn. The LORD your God is supreme over all gods and over all powers. He is great and mighty, and he is to be obeyed. He does not show partiality, and he does not accept bribes. He makes sure that orphans and widows are treated fairly; he loves the foreigners who live with our people, and gives them food and clothes. So then, show love for those foreigners, because you were once foreigners in Egypt. Have reverence for the LORD your God and worship only him. Be faithful to him and make your promises in his name alone. Praise him—he is your God, and you have seen with your own eyes the great and astounding things that he has done for you. When your ancestors went to Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.” —Deuteronomy 10:12–22
Check out this video of a family of goats who like to balance on a flexible metal arch. There’s no sound, but maybe one of you will be inspired to remix it!